Obama expresses sorrow over Afghan casualties

June 8, 2011 - 3:14 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has expressed his sorrow to Afghan President Hamid Karzai over recent civilian casualties in Afghanistan caused by airstrikes from the U.S.-led coalition there.

The White House says Obama and Karzai spoke for about an hour by videoconference on Wednesday, and that both leaders noted that most civilian deaths are caused by the Taliban. White House press secretary Jay Carney declined to say whether Karzai asked the president to halt airstrikes by Air Force Predator drones.

The military's use of armed drones in Afghanistan has become a flashpoint for Afghan anger over civilian deaths in the nearly 10-year-old war.

Karzai has grown more vocal in criticizing the U.S.-led coalition, saying that night raids, civilian casualties and irresponsible arrests have bolstered the insurgency.