Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Led airstrike kills 16 civilians in eastern Afghanistan

Led airstrike kills 16 civilians in eastern Afghanistan

The US Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) in a statement said a USA airstrike killed a number of militants and destroyed their vehicle in the Haska Mena district of eastern Nangarhar Province on the evening of August 10.

The U.S. military on Friday disputed claims that an overnight counterterrorism airstrike in eastern Afghanistan had caused civilian casualties.

Hajji Saz Wali, governor of Haska Meena district in the southern part of Nangarhar province, said the victims included women and children; eight were from one family, and four others from a second family. "On Thursday afternoon, the American forces bombarded a civilian private vehicle... when they were travelling inside the district", he told AFP.

Every so often، U.S. air raids kill both Afghan soldiers and civilians across the country. Women and children were among the victims.

Of the roughly 13,000 foreign forces in Afghanistan only the United States carries out airstrikes.

A spokesman for the USA military said that the Pentagon was aware of the reports but would not immediately comment.

A spokesman for Afghanistan's defense ministry told AFP that the strike by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces killed five insurgents and wounded two others. "There was zero chance of civilian casualties". In June، at least three Afghan border police officers were killed in U.S. airstrikes in Helmand province. Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, said an unknown number of civilians had died but was unable to say who carried out the strike.

Last month a USA airstrike killed 16 policemen in Helmand province. Back in February, American airstrikes also killed 22 civilians in the same province.

Meanwhile, the U.N Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it had completed its probe into the killings of dozens of civilians in the northern province of Sar-e-Pul and promised to issue its findings soon.

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