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US says American soldier's civilian carnage won't change Afghan mission plan

Washington, Tue, 13 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington,Mar 13(ANI): The United States has no plans to change ite mission in Afghanistan amid concerns that an alleged American soldier's attack on Afghan civilians could hinder its military operations in the country.


At least 16 Afghan civilians were killed in a house-to-house shooting spree in Panjwayi district, Kandahar by an American soldier on March 11.


White House spokesperson Jay Carney said the U.S. and its NATO allies are working to hand over security control to the Afghans at the end of 2014, Fox News reports.


He added that their pace of withdrawal will depend on several factors but did not indicate whether the incident would be considered as a factor


Carney stressed that Obama's objective remains focused on "disrupting, dismantling and defeating Al Qaeda."


"There is one reason why U.S. forces were sent to Afghanistan, and that is because the United States was attacked on Sept. 11, 2001, in a plot that was hatched in Afghanistan by Al Qaeda leaders. That remains his objective. And that has not changed," Carney said.


Carney also refused to comment on whether Obama believed that the shoot-out increased security risks for Americans in Afghanistan.


House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon agreed that the progress in Afghanistan should not be hindered by the March 11 shoot-out, but stressed that Obama needs to have a more concrete vision on Afghan issue.


"Despite what has been a tragic few weeks in Afghanistan, we have vital interests there, and a strategy that can work if our commanders are given the resources and time they need," McKeon said. (ANI)


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