Published: Sat, August 12, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Civilians Killed as Mortar Mines Hit Residential Area in Northern Afghanistan

Civilians Killed as Mortar Mines Hit Residential Area in Northern Afghanistan

Saaz Wali Shinwari, the district governor of Haska Mina in Nangarhar province, said the raid was carried out by United States troops although there was no official confirmation from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

"On Thursday afternoon, the USA forces bombarded a civilian private vehicle. when they were travelling inside the district", Saaz Wali Shinwari, the district governor of Haska Mina in Nangarhar province, told AFP.

Airstrikes by U.S. warplanes have also significantly increased in recent months against the purported positions of the Taliban militant group and other terror outfits in the crisis-hit country.

Meantime, Governor of Dawlatabad district Abdul Salam Nazhat has confirmed the gruesome event but said nine civilians including women and children had lost their lives and five more sustained injuries.

"There was zero chance of civilian casualties", the statement adds.

"The militants were observed loading weapons into a vehicle and were under surveillance until the vehicle was destroyed by an airstrike", said spokesman Bob Purtiman.

He reiterated that USA forces take all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and review each case fully, as well as take precautions in a way to minimize harm to Afghan civilians.

Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for Afghanistan's Ministry of Defense, said Thursday's strike was carried out by foreign forces in coordination with Afghan officials. They have been regularly targeting Islamic State insurgents who control several districts in restive Nangarhar. "But, we have appointed a delegation to investigate if civilians are killed".

Every so often، United States air raids kill both Afghan soldiers and civilians across the country.

Last August، a USA drone attack killed 22 Afghan soldiers in Helmand، and in September that year airstrikes conducted by American warplanes claimed the lives of at least eight Afghan troops in the central province of Uruzgan. In the first half of the year, 1,662 civilians were killed and more than 3,500 injured, according to the United Nations.

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