Afghanistan: Air strike near Kunduz kills 14 civilians

July 19, 2018

As many as 14 people, including women and children, were killed in an air strike carried out during an operation by Afghan security operation by Afghan security forces near the northern city of Kunduz on Thursday, officials said. Afghan officials said the incident was still being investigated and it was unclear whether the casualties had been caused by Afghan or US aircraft, both of which flew missions in support of the operation. A statement from the US military said there was no indication that its aircraft were responsible.

The civilian deaths add to a total that reached record levels in the first half of the year, according to a United Nations report this week that noted a sharp jump in casualties from air strikes. Nematullah Temori, a spokesman for the Kunduz governor, said women and children were among 14 people killed in the raid in Chardara, a district outside Kunduz city that has long been fought over between Taliban and government security forces.

The incident underlined the risks from the increased use of air power under a strategy designed to force the Taliban to accept peace talks.
As air strikes have increased, the U.N. report said civilian casualties from aerial attacks rose by 52 percent in the first half of the year to 353 killed and wounded. It urged forces to improve civilian protection in air operations.

Mohammad Radmanish, a spokesman for the ministry of defence, confirmed that a number of civilians had been killed but said details were still unclear. “An investigation team from Kabul has been deployed to the province to investigate the incident,” he said. “For the moment, it is difficult to say how many civilians were killed or wounded and who carried out the air strike.”

Source : The indian express

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