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Afghanistan: Dozens of civilians killed in drone attack

At least 30 civilians were killed and 40 injured in an air raid conducted by the Afghan security forces, backed by US air support, in eastern Afghanistan, officials said on Thursday.

The attack, on Wednesday night was aimed at destroying a hideout used by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL,ISIS) group fighters, but it accidentally targeted farmers near a field in Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani district in Nangarhar province, three government officials told Reuters news agency.

Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member in eastern Nangarhar province said a drone strike killed 30 workers in a pine nut field and at least 40 others were injured.

The defence ministry in Kabul confirmed the strike, but refused to share casualty details immediately.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor of Nangarhar confirmed the air strike.

“The government is investigating the incident, so far nine bodies were collected from the attack site near a pine nut field,” he said.

US forces were not immediately available for a comment.

Malik Rahat Gul, a tribal elder in Wazir Tangi said the air raid happened at a time when tired workers, mainly daily wage earners, had gathered near their tent after harvesting pine nuts in a field nearby.

“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” said Gul.

Also on Thursday, at least 20 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack carried out by the Taliban armed group in the southern province of Zabul.

Taliban, which has been waging an armed rebellion since it was ousted from power in 2001 by a US-led coalition claimed the Zabul attack that hit a hospital.

Earlier this month, four brothers were killed in a raid by the CIA-trained and funded 02 Unit of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) spy agency.

Hundreds of civilians have been killed in the past weeks after peace talks between the US and the Taliban collapsed.

Taliban has warned that the US will regret its decision to call off the talks that had raised hopes of ending the 18-year-old war in Afghanistan.

More soon.

Article source: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/09/afghanistan-dozens-civilians-killed-drone-attack-190919072728303.html

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