02/25/2013, 00.00
AFGHANISTAN
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Hamid Karzai expels U.S. Special Forces from Wardak, over charges of torture and murder

An Afghan team recently found the body of a young man with obvious signs of torture. United States: "We take all allegations of misconduct seriously."

Kabul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has ordered the expulsion of the U.S. Army Special Forces from the central province of Wardak, within two weeks. According to Kabul, the Green Berets are responsible for disappearances, killings and torture of civilians in the area. Commenting on the allegations, the United States says it considers the claims "very serious", but will not issue further statements "before discussing the issue with our Afghan counterparts." Karzai made the decision during a meeting of the Council for National Security, after presenting the results of an inquiry he had commissioned.

The Afghan president ordered an investigation after the death of nine people in Wardak as well as the death of a student. Found two days after being "taken" from his home, his body bore clear signs of torture. According to the official statement issued by the spokesman for Karzai, many of the authors of "persecution, torture and even murder of innocent people" were Afghan soldiers who work for U.S. special forces.

The province of Wardak is very important from the strategic point of view, because it is exploited by the Taliban to strike Kabul. In its annual report, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan revealed that, in 2012, at least 2,754 civilians were killed in clashes between U.S. and Afghan troops against the Taliban. The figure is the lowest ever recorded in the past six years. The victims of bombing raids by international forces were126, 42% less than in previous years.

The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghan soil is scheduled for 2014.

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