US general regrets civilian deaths in Afghanistan

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AP) - The commander of the U.S. Air Force in Iraq and Afghanistan says American troops are trying everything possible to avoid civilian casualties, but sometimes horrible things occur in the fog of war.

Lt. Gen. Mike Hostage said Tuesday during a visit to his home base in South Carolina that one goal of American forces is to keep civilians safe.

Hostage called two recent incidents horribly unfortunate. Earlier this week, five civilians were killed in a NATO airstrike. That happened one day after 12 people were killed by two U.S. missiles on the outskirts of Marjah, where 15,000 allied forces are in a push against the Taliban stronghold.

Hostage says he believes the goals set by U.S. commanders in Afghanistan will succeed in time, but it won't happen quickly.

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