May 31 - Afghan President Hamid Karzai has warned NATO forces that air strikes on homes are “not allowed any more”, following a strike in Helmland on Sunday that killed at least nine, mostly children. Nick Rowlands reports
NOTE: CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES At a news conference in Kabul on Tuesday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai tells NATO that launching attacks on homes in pursuit of insurgents is "not allowed any more." (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: "The Afghan people can no longer tolerate these attacks on their homes, and that one day the Afghan government will be forced, if you do not come to an understanding with us based on a negotiated solution to this - that is the prevention of the bombardment of Afghan homes - that the Afghan government will be forced to take a unilateral action in this regard." Karzai is furious after NATO air strikes on a compound in southern Helmand on Sunday killed at least nine people, most of them children. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AFGHANISTAN PRESIDENT HAMID KARZAI: "We must clearly demonstrate our understanding that Afghanistan is an ally, not an occupied country. And our treatment with NATO is from the point of view of an ally. If it turns to the other, to the behavior of an occupation, then of course the Afghan people know how to deal with that." US and NATO commanders have stepped up the use of air strikes and night raids in the last 12 months, and claim insurgents often hide amongst the general population. But the death of civilians at the hands of NATO incenses the Afghan population, and anti-Western sentiment is high. A gradual security transition from foreign to Afghan forces is due to begin some parts of the country in July. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.