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Bundeswehr Drops Case Against Kunduz Airstrike Colonel

The German military is dropping all charges against a colonel who ordered an air raid that killed dozens of Afghan civilians. Investigators found no evidence that Klein had broken any rules.

No charges will be brought by the German military against the German colonel who ordered an airstrike that dozens of civilians in Afghanistan.

A preliminary investigation uncovered no evidence that a breach of discipline had taken place, the Defense Ministry in Berlin said Thursday, and the case was closed.

Colonel Georg Klein ordered NATO aircraft in to carry out the raid on two fuel trucks on September 4 last year, after the vehicles were hijacked by Taliban insurgents. He believed the insurgents posed a threat to his men.

The army investigation looked into whether Klein had violated any rules laid down by the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF).

Klein could not have known about civilians

In April, German state prosecutors dropped proceedings against Klein, finding that neither he nor any of the other officers present were in a position to know that civilians were present at the time.

An initial report by ISAF said the attack killed or injured up to 142 people, including a large number of civilians. Earlier this month, Germany agreed to pay $5,000 (3,800 euros) to each family of over 90 people killed in the attack.

The incident led to a political storm in Germany, claiming the jobs of the former minister of defense, Franz Josef Jung, and Germany's top military officer, Wolfgang Schneiderhan.

German Military Drops Case Against Kunduz Airstrike Colonel