US Airstrikes in Afghanistan Are Said to Kill 16 Civilians


The U.S. officials insisted that the victims were militants under surveillance.

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

Hajji Saz Wali, the governor of Haska Meena district, said that among the dead were eight people from one family and four from another family.

But Bob Purtiman, a spokesman for the American military in Afghanistan, dismissed the official assertions.

"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.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial governor, previously said that an unknown number of casualties had occurred in the area, but later confirmed that at least 16 civilians were killed.

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But U.S. Forces- Afghanistan asserts "this is the second false claim of civilian casualties in the same district within the last three weeks". It was the second time since July 24 that an airstrike in that district killed civilians, according to Afghan officials.

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.

Friends and family pray during a funeral procession for victims of a US airstrike in the Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2017.

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.

The Taliban, seeking to restore Islamic rule after their 2001 ouster, rejected statements that the attack on Mirza Olang was a joint operation with the local affiliate of Islamic State, saying they acted alone and had targeted security forces.

"Evidence shows that this brutal crime has been committed by the Taliban in collusion with the ISIS group", the AIHRC said in a statement, based on what it said was "extremely shocking and terrible" witness testimony. Back in February، American airstrikes also killed 22 civilians in the same province. Women and children were among the victims.