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German court: No compensation for Afghan airstrike relatives

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2009 Afghan soldiers and police inspect the site where villagers reportedly died when American jets bombed fuel tankers hijacked by the Taliban, outside Kunduz, Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus, file)
October 06, 2016 - 7:19 AM

BERLIN - A German federal appeals court ruled Thursday that relatives of 91 Afghans killed in a NATO airstrike near the northern Afghan city of Kunduz in 2009 aren't owed further compensation.

The Federal Court of Justice said there was no evidence that the German officer who called in U.S. jets to bomb two hijacked fuel tankers had been in dereliction of duty, or violated humanitarian rules protecting civilians, upholding lower court rulings.

It also found that there was no legal basis to hold the German government liable for actions by the German military on a mission abroad.

Brig. Gen. Georg Klein, a colonel at the time, ordered the airstrike because he feared that insurgents would use the tankers to attack his troops.

Germany paid $5,000 each to the families of civilians who were killed as they tried to syphon fuel from the tankers but some relatives had sought additional compensation from the German government.

Karim Popal, a lawyer for victims' relatives, said he planned to take the case to Germany's highest court, the Federal constitutional Court.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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