Defence written question – answered on 5th March 2007.

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Photo of Chris Mullin Chris Mullin Labour, Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 30 November 2006, Official Report, column 435W, on Afghanistan, whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the bombing of civilians by NATO planes in Panjwayi near Khandahar in Afghanistan; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Des Browne Des Browne Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence, The Secretary of State for Defence

A joint ISAF-Afghan National Army report on the airstrike in Panjwayi concluded that this incident occurred principally due to slow communications between International Forces and the local authorities. As a result, ISAF has implemented a range of measures to improve the flow of critical information. ISAF takes every step possible to prevent civilian casualties. NATO is withholding publication of further details as the information would, or would be likely to prejudice the capability, effectiveness or security of our armed forces.

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