September 4, 2009 / 6:02 PM / 10 years ago

U.S. regrets civilian deaths in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House expressed “grave concern” on Friday at reports that civilians were killed in a U.S. attack on hijacked fuel trucks in Afghanistan.

A U.S. warplane, after receiving authorization from a German commander in the NATO coalition, fired on hijacked fuel trucks in Afghanistan before dawn on Friday, killing as many as 90 people.

NATO initially said it believed the casualties were all Taliban fighters, but later acknowledged that large numbers of wounded civilians were being treated in hospitals in the area.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs expressed regret that any civilians were killed.

“Obviously anytime there is loss of life in a conflict like this, particularly civilian life, it’s something that we’ve expressed in the past and continue to express grave concern about. It’s my understanding that this incident will be investigated,” Gibbs told reporters.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Eric Beech

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