US troops kill Afghan toddler amid tension on security pact

US troops kill Afghan toddler amid tension on security pact
Sat Jan 11, 2014 08:44:00

US forces stationed in Afghanistan have gunned down a four-year-old boy, and the incident prompted a rebuke from President Karzai who is refusing to sign a security pact with the US unless it gives assurances of civilian safety.

The four-year-old boy’s death at the hands of American troops sparked a furious reaction from the Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who demanded an immediate end to all military operations on civilian homes and showing a clear dedication to the peace process before a security pact is signed.

"We have called … for an absolute end to ISAF/NATO military operations on homes and villages in order to avoid such killings where innocent children or civilians are the victims," the president's spokesman, Aimal Faizi, said when commenting on the death of the boy.

Washington and Kabul are currently at loggerheads over a security pact that would see an American troop presence stay behind after the US’s scheduled withdrawal in December. The Obama administration has been ratcheting up the pressure for Karzai to sign the agreement after the December 31st deadline.

The Afghan government has rejected the claims over the negative impact of US troops’ withdrawal as “baseless” and intimated that there is an ulterior motive behind the security pact.

"We strongly reject that as baseless as they have in the past been proved inaccurate," Faizi said.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains high in the country.


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