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Armed forces consolidation ordered

20 February, 2013

KABUL: Afghanistan’s National Security Council has ordered all legally armed groups fighting the insurgency to be integrated into the government security institutions.

In a meeting chaired by President Hamid Karzai, the council has decided to "impede operations by all the armed groups and units established in some provinces by the coalition forces outside the Afghan armed forces’ structures," according to a statement from the president’s office.

"It was also decided that...a panel be created to soon ask the coalition forces to integrate all those groups and units into the security institutions of Afghanistan," it added.

The statement said the meeting focused on the recent deaths of Afghan civilians in eastern Kunar province during an airstrike for a joint Afghan/Isaf military operation.

At least 10 civilians were killed in the Shigal district airstrike during the early hours of Wednesday morning, prompting Karzai on Saturday to ban the Afghan army from calling for US/Nato air support during military operations.

The council also discussed the US military’s charges of drug smuggling against Afghanistan’s private airline Kam Air.

The council statement said that if there is any evidence or proof from the US army proving their allegations, it should formally send this through the US Embassy to the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs which will send it to the Ministry of Transport & Civil Aviation (MoTCA) so that the MoTCA can refer this on to the country’s Attorney General’s office.

The US military had recently blacklisted any US personnel or military groups from doing business with Kam Air after an investigation concluded that the carrier had transported large quantities of opium on civilian flights to Tajikistan.

The US military has since suspended this ban until the Afghan government finalises its own investigation into the matter.

End.

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