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German court rejects payout for Afghan air strike victims

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KARLSRUHE: Ger­many’s highest court on Thursday rejected compensation claims by relatives of victims of an air strike in Afghanistan seven years ago that was called in by a German Nato commander.

The Federal Court of Justice found against a father who was seeking 40,000 euros ($45,000) after the death of two of his children and a widowed mother-of-six claiming 50,000 euros.

In the September 2009 bombing, US planes hit two fuel tankers stolen by Taliban insurgents, killing about 100 people — including many civilians — near the northern city of Kunduz.

The commander, then-colonel Georg Klein, had called in the night-time strike after an informant had repeatedly claimed that no civilians were near the tankers.

Klein, who was later promoted to the rank of general, had feared that Taliban fighters could use the tankers as mobile bombs against a German military camp.

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