Former US defence secretary Leon Panetta says there was “no excuse” for the recent drone strike that killed civilians in Afghanistan.

“In this instance, it’s pretty clear that that kind of care was not exercised and a terrible mistake has been made and it does reflect badly, I think, on the approach that was used to decide what target to hit,” he told Trevor Phillips.

“I know there was a tremendous amount of confusion, I know there was a tremendous amount of pressure to try to go after those who had killed our marines and killed others.

“But that’s no excuse for not developing accurate information when it comes to targeting individuals.”

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