Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Civilians Killed as Mortar Mines Hit Residential Area in Northern Afghanistan

Civilians Killed as Mortar Mines Hit Residential Area in Northern Afghanistan

The Resolute Support and U.S. forces in Afghanistan have not commented so far.

Local security officials say Afghan forces, backed by US airpower, are conducting counterterrorism operations against Islamic State militants in the district, where Thursday's airstrikes occurred.

Hajji Saz Wali, the governor of Haska Meena district, said that among the dead were eight people from one family and four from another family.

A statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, though, said the airstrike killed only militants.

This is the second strike in the last few weeks in the district which killed civilians.

"In the strike, five insurgents were killed and two others were wounded".

"The militants were observed loading weapons into a vehicle and were under surveillance until the vehicle was destroyed by an airstrike", said spokesman Bob Purtiman. Officials added that because the vehicles were in the middle of nowhere "there was zero chance of civilian casualties".

They have been regularly targeting the militant Islamic State group fighters who control several districts in restive Nangarhar. In June، at least three Afghan border police officers were killed in U.S. airstrikes in Helmand province.

US forces in Afghanistan on Friday denied allegations by Afghan officials that a USA airstrike killed 16 civilians in eastern Afghanistan.

The armed conflict in Afghanistan has killed more than 1,700 civilians and wounded many more since the beginning of 2017, according to United Nations documentation of civilian casualties.

Deputy Chairman of Provincial Council Abdul Ahad Albak also said the victims were civilians.

Civilian casualties caused by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces have been one of the most contentious issues in the close to 16-year military campaign in Afghanistan, prompting strong government and public criticism.

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