NATO-led force in Afghanistan to probe airstrike said to have killed child

KABUL Fri Nov 29, 2013 12:18am EST

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KABUL (Reuters) - The NATO-led force in Afghanistan said it would investigate Thursday's airstrike in Helmand that local officials say killed a child and has further aggravated a stand-off between the Afghan president and the U.S. government.

"ISAF deeply regrets any civilian casualties caused by this airstrike," the force said in a statement.

President Hamid Karzai said the killing demonstrated the United States did not respect the lives of Afghan civilians and if such attacks continued, he would not sign a bilateral security pact.

Wrangling over the deal has lasted about a year. The pact aims to shape a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after 2014, when most foreign forces are due to leave the country. Without a pact, U.S. officials have warned the United States could pull out all of its troops.

(Reporting by Jessica Donati; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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