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General Kayani Apologises Over Civilian Deaths

April 17, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s army chief of staff, General Ashfaq Kayani, made a rare public apology Saturday over the deaths of civilians during military action and issued orders to avoid further incidents.

Military and political officials initially said at least 42 militants were killed in a gunfight and air strike in the Tirah valley of northwest Khyber district, where Pakistani jets targeted local Islamist militants last Saturday.

But tribesmen said dozens of civilians were killed and the military on Saturday released a rare public apology over the deaths, in what is part of Pakistan’s lawless and semi-autonomous tribal belt neighbouring Afghanistan.

Kayani apologised to the Kukikhel tribe over the “unfortunate” incident “which resulted in loss of precious and innocent civilian lives,” the military said in a statement.

“He offered his heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families. The chief of army staff stated that he has ordered measures to avoid reoccurrence of such incidents in future,” it added.

Political officials had tasked a six-member committee of tribal elders from the area to report on the precise numbers of civilian casualties.

Two tribesmen on the committee told AFP that 61 civilians were killed and 21 wounded, but so far there has been no official confirmation of the numbers from either the military or the political administration.

Kayani’s statement provided no precise details on how the civilians were killed and military spokesmen were not immediately reachable for comment.

Authorities in Khyber – part of Pakistan’s tribal badlands where Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked militants have a presence – set aside 10.5 million-rupee (125,000 dollars) compensation fund for any innocent victims killed or wounded.

Dawn News

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5 comments

  1. I believe that we should have public hangings and executions in Pakistan so people can see death infront of their eyes. This will achieve two things:

    1) Criminals will be wary.
    2) People in authority will think a million times before ordering an operation which can kill people.


  2. i wish n duaa, that no innocent dies anywhere, may Allah make pak forces defend the izzat of ummat,aameen.


  3. any difference between US army and this army left?

    first lal-masjid, then swat then NWFP muslims are dying in the name of “enlightened moderation” and “liberalism” but inshaAllah every death will be avenged from the liberals


    • “every death will be avenged from the liberals”

      I hate to point it out, but it’s not the liberals causing the problems…. it is the fundamentalists.


      • well said!



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