Civilians Feared Killed in Air Raid on Taliban Base

Civilians Feared Killed in Air Raid on Taliban BaseCivilians Feared Killed in Air Raid on Taliban Base

An investigation has been launched into air raids targeting a Taliban base that resulted in the deaths of at least 13 civilians, including women and children, in the western province of Herat, according to Afghan officials.

According to Jilani Farhad, Herat provincial spokesman, the raids, targeting a prison and command base run by the fighters in the Bakhtabad area of Shen Dand district, also hit nearby houses late on Monday evening, Al Jazeera reported.

“We have sent an investigation team into the area to find out the damages it has caused.”

Farhad said the raids were most likely carried out by Afghan forces, but media reports suggested it was the US forces who conducted the raids.

Responding to media reports, Farhad said it will be clear in a few days after the investigation is over on Wednesday.

At least 16 Taliban fighters were also killed, he said.

The US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) have not yet commented on the incident.

It comes a week after US President Donald Trump reversed the US stance on Afghanistan and authorized a troop build-up.

In his new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, Trump did not specify troop levels.

Earlier this month, hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in Jalalabad, capital of Nangarhar Province, protesting the alleged killing of 16 civilians in a similar US air raid.

In a separate incident on Wednesday, at least two security guards were killed after two suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on parliamentarian Zahir Qader’s house in Jalalabad.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said both suicide bombers detonated suicide vests full of explosive outside Qader’s house.

The self-styled Islamic State group later claimed responsibility for the attack.


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