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Afghanistan: US air strike kills 13 civilians in Herat province

30th Aug 2017
Afghanistan: US air strike kills 13 civilians in Herat province

By Shadi Khan Saif

 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): A deadly U.S. air strike on suspected Taliban hideouts in the western Herat province of Afghanistan on Monday killed 13 civilians and 16 militants, officials confirmed on Tuesday.

Jailani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, informed Anadolu Agency that U.S. forces conducted an aerial raid on Taliban targets in the Bakht Aabad area of the restive Shen Dand district on Monday.

He said 16 Taliban militants, including two top commanders, were killed and four more wounded.

“Unfortunately, 13 civilians were martyred and seven others were wounded in this raid,” he said, adding up to 19 civilians were also freed from Taliban captors following the raid.

The governor’s spokesman said investigations into the incident were underway.

The U.S. Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) have not yet commented on the matter.

These deaths come a week after U.S. President Donald Trump reversed America’s stance on Afghanistan and authorized a troop ramp-up.

In his new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, the U.S. president did not specify the troop levels authorized to augment the 8,400 soldiers now in Afghanistan. But in June, Pentagon plans were made public, calling for 3,900 additional troops.

Earlier this month, hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in Jalalabad city against the alleged killing of 16 civilians in a similar U.S. air strike.

Local officials in Jalalabad, the provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province, admit “some civilians” sustained harm in this attack, but USFOR-A claim only Daesh militants were targeted in the raid on Haska Maina district on Aug. 10.

[Archive Photo: US bombing hospital in Kunduz, Mazar-e-Sharif Region Hospital in Balkh on 4 October 2015. Photographer: Syed Khodaberdi Sadat/AA]

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