2 Jul 2010

US general pledges to protect Afghan civilians

9:20 am on 2 July 2010

The new chief of United States and NATO forces in Afghanistan has vowed to protect Afghan civilians when he takes up his post.

General David Petraeus has briefed allies and partners at NATO headquarters in Brussels before heading to Kabul.

The general says he has no plans to change current rules of engagement, which limit some uses of force to prevent civilian casualties.

However, he says he will look into the application of the rules, which critics say put US troops in danger, the BBC reports.

The General Petraeus was unanimously confirmed in the post by the US Senate on Wednesday.

He replaces General Stanley McChrystal, who was removed after he and his aides mocked and criticised senior US officials in a magazine article.