Afghan soldiers, civilians ‘killed’ in US air raid
KABUL: Dozens of Afghan civilians and security forces have been killed in an alleged U.S. air strike against advancing Taliban militants in Logar district, officials and local media reported Tuesday.
Abdul Wali, the deputy chairman of the provincial assembly, told Anadolu Agency 35 soldiers and civilians were killed when the U.S. forces hit Afghan security forces instead of targeting Taliban fighters in the Azrah.
“The Taliban are marching towards the district center, and if additional troops are not dispatched to the area, the district may fall to the Taliban,” Wali said.
Logar province — 100 miles south of the capital Kabul, is the hometown of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, where the Taliban have a significant presence.
Nusrat Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, has confirmed the killing of only nine soldiers in the “unfortunate” incident, which occurred after Afghan forces had called for air support.
He did not elaborate on the reports of civilian casualties, saying an investigation was underway.
In an email to Anadolu Agency, the press desk of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission confirmed that the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan did conduct a strike in support of Afghan operations in Azrah district early Tuesday morning. “We are aware of varying and unconfirmed reports (of civilian casualties), and are looking into the matter further”, it noted. AA