Civilian deaths caused by Taliban’s ‘use of houses’: Ghani

KABUL (Tolo News): Two days after an airstrike in Nimroz reportedly killed 18 civilians–all members of one family–President Ashraf Ghani sent a message of condolence to the families of those killed as well as to residents and elders of the southwestern province.

President Ghani did not mention the number of those who lost their lives in the airstrike but said that the Taliban and other groups are “using people’s houses and public places as shields,” which is the “main reason behind civilian casualties” and is a consequence of war and is “not acceptable.”

The airstrike was conducted in the Khashrod district of Nimroz. According to Baz Mohammad Nasir, head of the provincial council, and residents of the district, 18 people–including women and children–were killed in the airstrike.

The Defense Ministry said on Monday that 14 militants and 5 Taliban members, were killed in Saturday night’s airstrike in Nimroz province. The ministry says the “claims of civilian casualties” in the airstrike are under investigation. Relatives of the victims took the 18 bodies to the city of Zaranj, the center of the province, seeking justice from the government.