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Civilians suffer casualties in Kunar airstrike: MP

Civilians suffer casualties in Kunar airstrike: MP

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Dec 15, 2018 - 18:37

KABULinfo-icon/ASADABAD (Pajhwok): Dozens of civilians suffered casualties in an airstrike in eastern Kunar province, a lawmaker claimed on Saturday, but local officials said insurgents were the target of the Afghan forces-led night raid.

The airstrike by Afghan and foreign forces was carried out in Shaltan Dara area of Shaltan district on Thursday night, said Ghulam Sakhi Mushwani, who represents Kunar people in the Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon or lower house of Parliament.

He told Saturday’s session of the house in Kabul that 59 civilians and 31 insurgents had been killed in the operation.

He said 15 other civilians, including womeninfo-icon and children, were injured. “Civilian casualties have recently increased, an issue that has raised people’s concerns”, Mashwani added, asking the US and Afghan forces to be careful about civilian lives during their operations.

In Asadabad, Kunar’s capital, Governor Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said 50 insurgents were killed in the Thursday night’s joint operation by Afghan and coalition forces.

He said Afghan forces led the operation and were supported by foreign forces.

Mirzakwal said 38 foreign insurgents including Al-Qaeda members were also among those killed.

Four foreigners were among 12 others wounded in the offensive, the governor said, admitting a number of civilians also suffered casualties and an investigation in this regard was underway.

Kunar’s provincial council deputy head Abdul Latif Fazli said that most of the victims of the operation were civilians. He asked the government to launch a comprehensive investigation into the incident.

NATOinfo-icon’s Resolute Support Mission (RSM) in Kabul said their forces had only ‘advise support role’ in the operation in Kunar.

“The operation in Kunar was Afghan-led and US advisors were in a supporting role. This operation is an example of the new Afghan operational design, where the Afghan security forces are on the offensive,” the RSM spokeswoman, Debra Richardsonsaid, in an email to Pajhwok.

“The ops design targets the entire Talibaninfo-icon organization, from fighters to leaders to enablers. Afghan reporting suggests at least 45 Taliban fighters were killed. These operations will continue until the Taliban agree to commit to peace,” she added.

mds/ma

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