Farah officials claim civilians killed in airstrike

Monitoring Desk

FARAH: The provincial governor and a Farah Member of Parliament both claim that an airstrike killed five civilians who were businessmen traveling from Farah city to Abu Nasar Farahi Port when their vehicle was targeted.

“The governor is in charge here… the governor must answer about who killed them,” said Abdul Ghafar Arman, a Member of Parliament for Farah.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense has not commented on the allegations. Foreign forces, contacted on Sunday night, have also not commented yet.

Farah province’s governor Massoud Bakhtor said that the incident will be investigated.

“We have set up a commission to investigate the incident and will share its findings with the governor’s office and we will take serious action,” said Bakhtor.

Human rights organizations denounced the attacks and called for an end to the strikes.

“We call on all parties to the war to respect international humanitarian law and the Afghan constitution. In all cases, the universal declaration of human rights emphasizes that civilians must stay away from military objectives,” said Zabiullah Farhang, spokesman for the AIHRC.

“Unfortunately, we do not see any proper action towards civilian victims of the Afghan conflict, and we do not see any accountability for those who caused civilian casualties,” said Zaman Sultani, Amnesty International’s South Asia Researcher.

On the other hand, a delegation of US troops went to Kunduz province on Saturday to meet and apologize to the families of victims of the airstrike in Dasht-e-Archi. Nearly two weeks ago an airstrike allegedly caused the death of five militants and five civilians, including two women and one child.

“The foreign forces special operations commander had arrived on a trip with a delegation. They apologized to the family for the martyrdom of the five civilians in Dasht-e-Archi district and assured them that they would seriously investigate the airstrike,” said Esmatullah Muradi, a spokesman for Kunduz governor.

The Independent Human Rights Commission has also expressed concern about civilian casualties in US and Afghan airstrikes, saying numbers have increased compared to the past. (TOLOnews)