BERLIN — The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday in favor of Germany in a dispute with Afghan civilians who challenged the country’s investigation into a 2009 attack on oil tankers in Afghanistan that killed as many as 90 civilians.

A panel of 17 judges from across Europe ruled unanimously that the German investigation into the bombing did not violate the European human rights convention.

On the night of the attack, Sept. 3, 2009, Taliban fighters hijacked two tankers carrying NATO fuel and then got stuck on a sandbank in the Kunduz River, about four miles from the NATO base in the northern city of Kunduz.

Col. Georg Klein, a German who at the time was commander of the NATO base in Kunduz, called in U.S. military planes to bomb the tankers, saying that he believed that only insurgents were in the area and that he feared the Taliban could use the tankers to carry out attacks. But dozens of local Afghans had swarmed the tankers, invited by the Taliban to siphon off fuel.

a bitter debate about the role of its military forces during peacetime.

But over the past decade, German prosecutors have declined to press charges against the commander, and courts have upheld the decision and denied survivors the right to demand compensation from the government.

Abdul Hanan, whose sons, Abdul Bayan, 12, and Nesarullah, 8, were killed in the 2009

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