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Karzai slams US over handling of Afghan massacre but agrees to discuss troop plan

Kabul, Sat, 17 Mar 2012 ANI

Kabul, Mar 17 (ANI): Afghan President Hamid Karzai has slammed the United States for failing to co-operate fully with an investigation into the massacre of 16 Afghan villagers, rejecting the claim that a single soldier was responsible.


"In four rooms, people were killed, and then they were all brought together in one room and put on fire. That one man cannot do," Karzai said.


Karzai, however, issued a joint statement with President Barack Obama on Friday that he was open to discussions about his surprise demand that the US.-led coalition pull its forces out of villages and return to bases, The Wall Street Journal reports.


In the statement, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to transfer all security responsibilities to the Afghans by the end of 2014, as agreed at a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit in Lisbon in 2010.


"The two leaders also affirmed that they share the goal of building capable Afghan security forces and strengthening Afghan sovereignty so that Afghans are increasingly in charge of their own security," the statement said.


Meanwhile, US officials defended how their investigation into the incident was being handled and disputed any breakdown in cooperation with the Afghans.


"We have been open and transparent with the Afghans from the beginning and we will continue to be," said U.S. Navy Capt. John Kirby, the Pentagon's spokesman. (ANI)


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