Ghani apologises for civilian casualties in Kunduz air strike


KABUL -- Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologised Wednesday (May 16) to the families of civilians, mainly children, who were killed when the country's air force struck an outdoor religious gathering attended by top Taliban leaders last month.

The April 2 air strike on a ceremony attended by hundreds of men and boys in Dasht-i-Archi District -- a Taliban stronghold in Kunduz Province -- left at least 36 Afghans dead, including 30 children, according to a report published by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) May 7.

On Wednesday, Ghani apologised to the families and local elders, said a statement from the presidential palace.

"[The] difference between evildoers and a legitimate government is that a legitimate government apologises for the mistakes made," he said, according to the statement.

He vowed that the government would compensate the families and would build a minaret in memory of the victims as well as a mosque for the region.

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