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Obama orders probe of Taliban killings in Afghanistan

world Updated: Jul 13, 2009 19:45 IST

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US President Barack Obama on Monday ordered a probe into allegations that the Bush administration resisted efforts to investigate a CIA-backed Afghan warlord General Abdul Rashid Dostum over the massacre of hundreds of Taliban prisoners in 2001.

“The indications that this had not been properly investigated just recently was brought to my attention,” Obama said.

“So what I’ve asked my national security team to do is to collect the facts for me that are known, and we’ll probably make a decision in terms of how to approach it once we have all of the facts gathered up,” Obama told CNN in an interview.

The inquiry stems from the deaths of up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners who had surrendered to the U.S.-backed Northern Alliance in late 2001.

The fighters were in the custody of troops led by Gen. Dostum, a prominent Afghan warlord who has served as chief of staff of the country’s post-Taliban army.

The New York Times had reported yesterday that top officials from the previous administration of president George W Bush discouraged separate probes by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the State Department and the Pentagon.

They wanted to hush up the killing of up to 2,000 prisoners in 2001 because it was carried out by the forces of General Abdul Rashid Dostam, an Afghan warlord then on the Central Intelligence Agency’s payroll, it said.