KABUL, Afghanistan -- The U.S. military has determined that its forces weren’t involved in the alleged abduction and killing of civilians in a troubled province in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday.
"In recent months, a thorough review has confirmed that no coalition forces have been involved in the alleged misconduct in Wardak province," Lt. Col. Les Carroll, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
A day earlier, Afghan President Hamid Karzai accused U.S. special forces troops and Afghans working for them of torturing civilians in Wardak, a strategic but violence-wracked province southwest of the capital, Kabul. Karzai ordered the elite U.S. troops to end operations in Wardak and to leave the province within two weeks, dealing a blow to U.S. counterterrorism efforts in an area rife with Taliban and allied insurgents.
Karzai’s office, citing claims by Wardak’s governor and tribal elders, alleged that a university student who was detained during a U.S. operation last year was later found with his head and fingers cut off. In another case, Afghan officials accused U.S. forces of detaining nine villagers who are still missing.