NATO apologizes for deaths in Afghan airstrike

NATO apologizes for deaths in Afghan airstrike

PATROL BASE PUL-I-ALAM, Afghanistan - Afghanistan
NATO apologizes for deaths in Afghan airstrike

Afghans inspect the scene of NATO's airstrikes in Logar, Afghanistan, 06 June 2012. Afghan tribal elder and 17 family members were killed early 06 June, by a NATO airstrike in Logar, eastern Afghanistan. EPA/STR

The commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has apologized for civilian deaths in a coalition airstrike earlier this week.

Marine Gen. John Allen flew to Logar province on Friday to personally deliver his regrets to villagers and provincial officials for the deaths of women, children and village elders in Wednesday's pre-dawn raid to capture a Taliban operative. Afghan officials have said the airstrike that was called in by NATO troops during the operation killed 18 civilians.

Allen told the Afghans they "have my apology and we will do the right thing by the families." It was the first confirmation by NATO forces that civilians were killed.

An Afghan doctor who examined the bodies and interviewed witnesses said insurgents prevented the civilians from leaving the house during the fighting.

NATO, Afghanistan