Afghan officials: 24 civilians killed in anti-Taliban raid

Afghanistan is investigating reports that 40 civilians, including children, were killed in an air attacks (Image Courtesy: Noor Muhammad/AFP/Al Jazeera)

At least 24 civilians were killed Monday during a raid conducted by Afghan special forces on Taliban hideouts in the southern Helmand province, provincial officials said.

Abdul Majed Akhund, deputy provincial councilman, said that initial reports showed 24 civilians were killed, but the number “possibly would rise” when a final toll was available.

Attahullah Afghan, head of the provincial council, said the majority of dead were women and children who were at a wedding ceremony in Musa Qala district.

He added that 12 other people were wounded.

There were conflicting reports on the numbers of killed and wounded from different sources as the area is under Taliban control.

According to Afghan, there were two separate raids in different areas of Musa Qala.

The first operation killed six foreign fighters, while the second raid “mistakenly” hit civilians, he said.

Akhund said authorities are investigating reports civilians attending a wedding died in the raid Sunday night in Musa Qala.

Omar Zwak, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said 14 insurgents including six foreigners were killed during the raid. They were investigating reports of civilian casualties.

This comes as earlier a drone attack in eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province blamed on US forces killed at least 16 and wounded tens of others, most of them civilians.

The US forces in Afghanistan said they carried out a strike in eastern Nangarhar targeting Islamic State positions.

The violence has further rattled the country as it prepares for national elections later this month.


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