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Documents in Kunduz affair may have been destroyed

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Documents in Kunduz affair may have been destroyed
Photo: DPA
09:20 CET+01:00
Military documents detailing the events surrounding a deadly bombardment in Afghanistan now under investigation by the German parliament have reportedly been destroyed.

The news came a day after Colonel Georg Klein, the German commander who ordered the controversial air strike that killed more than 140 Afghans last year, appeared before a parliamentary inquiry to defend his actions.

Daily Bild reportedly has obtained documents that prove special forces were involved reading: “Clearance to destroy and liquidate under terms of ZDv 2/30 hereby issued.”

This number 2/30 central service command, abbreviated as “ZDv,” indicates that files are to be “shredded or cut up with the shredder so that the contents are neither recognisable nor could be made recognisable,” the paper said.

An inside source on the parliamentary investigative committee told the paper that they believed the documents had been destroyed.

“We will try to reconstruct this in the committee,” he told the paper.

The committee hopes to clarify how dozens of civilians could have been killed in the September 4, 2009 bombardment of two fuel trucks hijacked by the Taliban in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz.

The Defence Ministry has been accused of suppressing reports of civilian casualties following the air strike, also suggesting that Col. Klein, who ordered the attack, did not adhere to proper rules of engagement.

Former Defence Minister Franz Josef Jung, who was in office when the controversial air strike occurred, resigned from his new position as labour minister over the allegations that he hid evidence that civilians had been killed ahead of federal elections. Armed forces Chief-of-Staff General Wolfgang Schneiderhan and another senior defence ministry official also stepped down over the affair.

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