Karzai Demands End to U.S. Military Operations, Air Strikes

As precondition to 2014 security pact

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President Hamid Karzai said Sunday that the U.S. must halt military operations and air strikes in Afghanistan as a precondition to a security deal keeping U.S. troops in the war-torn nation after 2014.

The demand comes shortly after an investigation into a joint Afghan-U.S. military operation north of Kabul that resulted in 12 civilian casualties, the Associated Press reports. Karzai attributed the deaths to U.S. air strikes, though the U.S. pointed the finger back at Afghanistan.

Karzai has yet to sign the deal on U.S. troops that he had agreed to tentatively last October. He also reiterated Sunday that the U.S. needs to initiate talks with the Taliban, which refuses to engage with Karzai or his government.