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Senate flays Kunduz raid, orders own probe

Senate flays Kunduz raid, orders own probe

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Apr 03, 2018 - 17:19

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Meshrano Jirgainfo-icon or Senate on Tuesday strongly condemned an airstrike that the lawmakers claimed killed 60 civilians and injured at least another 160 mostly children in a religious school in northern Kunduz province.

The senators, discussing the airstrike on a seminary called Hashimia Madrasa in Dashti Archi district, asked the government to punish those involved.

The airstrike by Afghan forces struck the seminary in Fatano locality on Monday when a graduation ceremony for the religious students was ongoing.

However, public representatives and government officials differed over who were killed the most in the airstrike ---- militants or civilians.

Ministry of Defense officials claimed the yesterday’s airstrike targeted a Talibaninfo-icon base, killing 20 insurgents and wounding many others.

But senator Abdullah Qarlaq from Kunduz province told today’s session that the airstrike hit a graduation ceremony of the madrasa’s students.

He said 85 people, including 60 civilians and 25 Taliban militants, were killed and 50 other civilians were wounded in the Monday’s airstrike.

The lawmaker said the slain militants included members of the Taliban’s Quetta Shurainfo-icon.

Abdullah Qarlaq strongly condemned the killing of innocent civilians in the raid and said security forces should not target a civilian religious ceremony for targeting a few militants.

He argued the Afghan security forces could have targeted the Taliban once the ceremony had concluded.

Senator Mir Hatam Tarakhel said when security forces were aware of the presence of a Taliban commander coming from Quetta city of Pakistaninfo-icon’s Balochistan province, “then why they did not target him on the way to the province.”

A number of other senates expressed similar views about the Kunduz bombardment and demanded heavy punishment for those who behind the incident.

Senate chairman Fzal Hadi Muslimyar also urged the government to arrest those who ordered the airstrike and bring them to justice.

He called the incident ‘as painful’ and said a Meshrano Jirga delegation would be sent to Kunduz for investigation into the incident.

pk/ma 

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