KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- Afghanistan's foreign minister said Saturday that the military campaign against Taliban and al-Qaida holdouts will continue despite this week's U.S. air attack that killed scores of civilians in a central province.
The U.S. military admitted for the first time Saturday that it civilians died in the Monday attack, though President Bush had already called the Afghan president on Friday to express his condolences. Foreign Minister Abdullah said the latest count showed 48 people were killed and 117 wounded.
He said ways must be found to pursue the campaign without endangering innocents.
"The question is not whether to continue the operations against al-Qaida or not," Abdullah told reporters at a press conference along with U.S. Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill. "We should find ways and means in order to prevent tragedies" and civilian losses in the campaign, he said.
The two spoke at a joint news conference at the end of a preliminary U.S.-Afghan investigation into the Monday attack around the village of Kakarak. Among the dead were 25 members of an extended family attending a wedding celebration, Afghans said.
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