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Afghan tanker raid may have broken NATO rules: report

world Updated: Sep 06, 2009 19:30 IST

A German commander in Afghanistan ordered an air strike that killed scores of civilians last Friday based on intelligence from only one source in possible violation of NATO rules, The Washington Post reported.

The newspaper said that a NATO fact-finding team estimated that about 125 people were killed in the bombing near the city of Kunduz, at least two dozen of whom -- but perhaps many more -- were not insurgents.

The German officer, whose named was not disclosed, first received grainy live video transmitted from a US F-15E fighter jet, at a German tactical operations centre, showing numerous black dots around a fuel truck hijacked by the Taliban.

Each dot was a thermal image of a human but without enough detail to confirm whether they were carrying weapons, according to the paper.

At the same time, an Afghan informant was on the phone with an intelligence officer at the centre, insisting that everybody at the site was an insurgent.

The commander ordered a 225-kilo satellite-guided bomb to be dropped on each truck. The vehicles exploded in a fireball, incinerating many of those standing nearby.