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War Crimes Court To Seek Investigation Into Afghan Conflict

Fatou Bensouda did not mention any specific parties to be investigated.

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague says she will seek approval to open a formal investigation into allegations of war crimes in Afghanistan.

Fatou Bensouda said in a November 3 statement that there was a "reasonable basis to believe that war crimes and crimes against humanity" were committed.

The prosecutor did not mention any specific parties to be investigated.

Last year, Bensouda said in a report that there were preliminary grounds to believe U.S. forces committed war crimes in Afghanistan and at secret "dark site" CIA detention facilities elsewhere in 2003 and 2004.

The report also highlighted alleged abuses by Afghan soldiers and the Taliban.

The prosecutor will focus on allegations committed since May 1, 2003 on the territory of Afghanistan and war crimes closely linked to the situation in Afghanistan allegedly committed since July 1, 2002 on the territory of other states.

If the request is granted by the court's judges, the office of the prosecutor "will investigate, within its mandate and means, in an independent, impartial and objective way, crimes within the court's jurisdiction allegedly committed by any party to the armed conflict."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP