Pajhwok Services

SMS News Service

Photo Service

Election Coverage

Special Mining Page

Afghan Peace Process Special Page

Addvertise With Pajhwok

Daily Newsletter

Sending Time (GMT / Kabul time)

Suggest a Story

Pajhwok is interested in your story suggestions. Please tell us your thoughts by clicking here.

Women, children among 12 killed in Kunduz blitz

Women, children among 12 killed in Kunduz blitz

Mar 23, 2019 - 15:38

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): At least 12 civilians, including womeninfo-icon and children, have allegedly been killed in a nighttime airstrike in northern Kunduz province, residents and officials said Saturday.

Around 200 people staged a protest rally in Imaminfo-icon Sahib port area of Kunduz City, the provincial capital, on Saturday, claiming 12 civilians had been killed in the blitz.

Haji Rustam, an organizer of the rally, told Pajhwok Afghan News three civilian houses were targeted in the airstrike which was called in during overnight operations.

He said women and children were the dead and one person had been wounded in the operation. He said security forces have been conducting their operations in Kunduz City over the past three days.

The protestors wanted to take the dead bodies to the governor’s house, but security forces did not allow them to do so.

Meanwhile, a member of the Kunduz provincial council, Mualvi Khosh Mohammad Nasrutyar, also confirmed the incident and said he convinced the protestors to bury the dead and assured them the issue would be taken up with the authorities concerned.

The public representative said in the past too several civilians had been killed in such bombardments but so far no had paid attention to the issue.

A security official, who wished to go unnamed, told Pajhwok last night a clash occurred when security forces were leaving the area. He said foreign forces were also involved the nighttime operations.

On the other hand, Talibaninfo-icon spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said 13 civilians had been killed in the Kunduz airstrike.

However, the NATOinfo-icon Resolute Mission in a detailed statement said the airstrikes were used in self-defense to suppress an effective fire at the joint Afghan and coalition forces from the vicinity of a checkpoint they were approaching.

“Afghan security forces, accompanied by a small advisory team, conducted an operation near Kunduz City. The villagers around Kunduz City requested support from the Afghan security forces to stop the Taliban fighters from extorting taxes, shelter and food from the local populace,” the mission said in the statement.  

The Taliban historically mass men, weapons and equipment in small villages around the city in preparation for attacks on Kunduz City and it became clear after the forces landed near the village that Taliban fighters were pre-staged in defensive fighting positions.

Intense fighting began as soon as the first boots hit the ground and continued for a consecutive 30 hours. “We are fighting in a complex environmentinfo-icon and this firefight is a prime example of the challenges Afghan and coalition forces face every day.”

The statement said the Taliban were hiding in civilian homes and maneuvered in and out of compounds without any concern for the families living inside.

After killing 87 Taliban fighters and securing the village, some of the ground force maneuvered in vehicles to a security checkpoint.

While approaching the checkpoint, the combined Afghan and coalition ground force was fired on by an unknown assailant at close range from the checkpoint as well as from two other directions.

The fire from the enemy was indiscriminate and came from multiple directions. While defending themselves, the ground force conducted de-confliction with the ANDSF and no local forces reported being under fire.

 “No bombs were used for this suppression. There are multiple Afghan reports from the area of the Taliban coercing and beating local Afghan civilians to allege civilians were killed.”

“We have seen this type of reporting in other places as the Taliban attempt to hide their losses by accusing ANDSF and coalition of causing civilians casualties.”

The NATO statement said they were aware of non-combatant casualty claims from those airstrikes. “We take all claims seriously and investigate every credible allegation; we review every mission to learn, adapt and improve.”

The alliance  said they maintained the right to engage the enemy in self-defense and take every measure to prevent civilian casualties, even as the Taliban intentionally hide behind women and children.

“We will continue to judiciously and carefully deliver the military pressure necessary to enable a political solution here.”



Related Article

Add new comment



Twitter Update