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Military filmed Kunduz strike from ground

DDP/DPA/The Local · 18 Dec 2009, 09:25

Published: 18 Dec 2009 09:25 GMT+01:00

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As new details of the incident continue to increase pressure on German officials, the paper reported that Col. Georg Klein – who ordered the September 4 air strike – was also referring to video taken by Bundeswehr soldiers near the site where two fuel tanks hijacked by the Taliban were bombed.

Bild reported that until now it was thought that Klein only used videos taken by US fighter jets to make his decision. But the Bundeswehr video, featured on the paper’s website, shows the moments leading up to the attack, followed by a dramatic fireball and shots of the burning fuel trucks.

Meanwhile weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported it had seen documents proving that Germany's elite KSK special forces – which work separately from the Bundeswehr – were involved in the incident and in close contact with German military headquarters in Potsdam on the night of the bombardment.

“Can it be that Col. Klein [...] was part of a long running operation by the KSK against the Taliban?” the paper asked.

Last week media reports alleged that the KSK played a key role in the air strike claiming that Col. Klein was in charge of the secret Task Force 47 the night he ordered the attack near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz.

The special ops unit reportedly has its own command structure at the nearby German base and KSK soldiers make up about half of its ranks. Their duties include hunting Taliban and terrorists in the region.

Bild said that according to NATO’s rules of engagement, Klein only would have been able to call in the deadly air strike as the commander of TF47.

The paper said members of Germany’s parliamentary defence committee were first informed of the existence of TF47 on November 6, the same day that Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said the air strike had been “militarily appropriate.” He has since admitted the attack was a mistake due to the high number of civilian casualties.

A parliamentary inquiry looking into the matter took up its work this week.

ISAF reports estimate that up to 142 people - many of whom were civilians – were killed that night. Amid allegations of a cover-up, the Bundeswehr's chief of staff and Guttenberg's predecessor at the Defence Ministry, Franz Josef Jung, both resigned.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile new Defence Minister Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg, who took his post in late October, has vowed a thorough investigation into the accusations that German defence officials withheld information about the air strike.

But new revelations are putting Guttenberg under increasing political pressure for his initial assessment of the incident.

Media reports recently revealed that while the minister has said he did not have access to information seen by his predecessor Jung, he in fact had a report by the International Red Cross that deemed the bombardment contrary to international law and responsible for the deaths of at least 74 civilians.

DDP/DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:41 December 18, 2009 by Henckel
Boom! There went the Taliban, to whereever those fanatics go when they die.

I kind of think it wasn't where they thought they would be going.
15:42 December 18, 2009 by sadiq
How many Taliban have been caught crossing into Germany? Germany's entry into the Asian (read Islamic) conflict only exacerbates America's mis-use of "macht" and stains the profile of decent Germans.

All of the point-by-point technicalities of who knew what, when, are non-polemical when we ask, what has Afghanistan done to us?

Perhaps the cowboy virus (such as KSK, Special Forces) does little to protect us citizens, but instead, tests the weapons developed by the real masters of war against innocent civilians in a country so far away, nobody knew where it was before 9/11.

I say it's bullshit and the persons responsible should be held accountable. Simple.
16:24 December 18, 2009 by Badger1911
Sadiq, KSK and SF are highly trained professionals, but a civilian like you wouldn't understand that. There are no cowboys and Rambos in such units.

Also, how many Talis?

Ah, shall I remind you of... 9/11. London. Madrid. Bali. Mumbai. And so on. Shall I?

They didn't just attack the US, or the UK, or Spain. They're targetting all of us. They're like the Nazis in WW2. They wanted total war? Well, let's give it to them I say.

It worked in WW2. It will work now as well. Such fascists only understand one language: force.

Only a dead taliban is a good taliban.
17:56 December 18, 2009 by Frenemy

YOU may only have figured out where Afghanistan is located on a map after 9/11. But for some of us, that particular rock-pile called a country has been somewhat of an issue since around this time of year in 1979....
21:24 December 18, 2009 by DrGideonPolya
In 1945 many Germans said "we didn't know" but Germany adopted a war crimes protocol summarized by the acronym CAAAA (C4A) - Cessation of the crimes, Acknowledgment, Apology for and Amends for the crimes and Assertion "never again to anyone". At Christmas 2009 most Germans are unaware of the horrendous, ongoing war crimes in which Germany is complicit in Occupied Afghanistan.

As of mid-December 2009 it is estimated from the latest UN Population Division data that in Occupied Afghanistan post-invasion non-violent excess deaths total 3.4 million; post-invasion violent deaths total 1.1 million (assuming expert US-Australian advice that the level of violence has been 4 times lower in the Afghan War than in the Iraq War); and post-invasion under-5 infant deaths total 2.4 million (90% avoidable and due to US Alliance war crimes in gross violence of the Geneva Convention ­ Articles 55 and 56 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War demands that an Occupier must supply life-sustaining food and medical requisites ¦quot;to the fullest extent of the means available to it¦quot; but according to the WHO the ¦quot;total annual expenditure on health per capita¦quot; permitted in Occupied Afghanistan is $29 as compared to $6,714 in Occupier US and $3,122 in Occupier Apartheid Australia).

There are 3-4 million Afghan refugees plus a further 2.5 million Pashtun refugees generated in NW Pakistan by the obscene war policies of war criminal Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Obama ­ this carnage involving 4.5 million post-invasion violent and non-violent excess Afghan deaths constitutes an Afghan Holocaust and an Afghan Genocide as defined by Article 2 of the UN Genocide Convention.

The current "annual death rate" for Occupied Afghan under-5 year old infants under the US Alliance is 7% - as compared to that of 4% (for Poles under the Nazis in WW2), 5% (French Jews under the Nazis and the Nazi-collaborator Vichy régime in WW2), 13% (Australian POWs of the Japanese in WW2) and 19% (Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe).
23:37 December 18, 2009 by Frenemy

1)Do you think the Taliban will adopt some version of C4A after a 100% Western withdrawal?! No. They will invite every foreign anti-Western tactician/operational-commander from Holland to Indonesia to come to Afghanistan and train the hordes of disenfranchised/poverty-stricken men, women, and children to wage war against the West (which will be blamed for everything that is wrong with their lives).

2)Before you assault us with statistics that lack any sort of context, please (at least) provide PRE-invasion ¦quot;violent¦quot; and ¦quot;non-violent death"statistics.

3)What kind of....actually, you know what, never-mind. Your extreme leftism is giving me a cyber-allergic reaction....need to log-off.
21:17 December 21, 2009 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
Ah yes those poor innocent Afghans that were congregating around a fuel truck in the middle of the night with attack plans and fuel trucks...those poor innocent darlings. Did anyone else notice that the Governor of that province wrote the german defense minister thanking him for that air strike? How can you possibly be delusional enough to think that those people weren't hostile contacts? You think the KSK identifies targets as hostile for the fun of it? Maybe they like killing innocent people? Complete non-sense. And even on the off chance that it was a mistake, it certainly wasn't intentional. Jesus Christ people, we're fighting a war over there! It's not a bloody picnic or a civilian court of law.

I also would like to believe that Germany can exist in a state where it never has to respond with military force to anyone, but that is a pure pipe dream.
07:23 December 22, 2009 by Frenemy

...ok left-wing fundies, unleash your furor and moral revulsion!
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