On September 4, Bundeswehr Colonel Georg Klein called a NATO air strike on two fuel trucks taken by the Taliban in the area. Berlin at first contended that only Islamist insurgents had been killed in the air strike, but later said there had been an unspecified number of civilian victims.
A spokesperson for the northern Kunduz province told news agency DPA that Afghan officials had paid the 30 families of those that died $2,000 and $1,000 to those injured in the attack. The families of Taliban insurgents killed were not compensated.
NATO is still investigating the incident, but a probe commissioned by Afghan President Hamid Karzai reported that 30 civilians were killed, and nine injured, while some 69 insurgents were killed.
NATO sources told daily Financial Times Deutschland two weeks ago that Col. Klein violated the transatlantic alliance’s protocol in calling the strike.
In response to allies’ criticism of the strike, Germany has asked other governments not to comment on the NATO investigation until it is complete.
Klein ended his orders in Afghanistan on Monday as planned during a ceremony that passed command on to Col. Kai Rohrschneider.
Some 4,400 German troops are serving in Afghanistan as part of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).