12 Afghan children killed in airstrike targeting Taliban commander, local officials say – National

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At the very least 20 Afghan civilians, together with 12 youngsters, have been killed in an airstrike concentrating on a Taliban commander within the jap province of Kunar late on Friday, native officers mentioned.

The strike, towards an area Taliban commander named Sharif Mawiya, was the newest in a collection of operations concentrating on senior rebel area commanders, together with the shadow governor of the strategic southern province of Helmand, who was killed on Dec. 2.

A number of Taliban navy commanders have been killed for the reason that starting of the month by Afghan forces, backed by U.S. advisers and air energy however the tactic has additionally elevated the chance of civilian casualties.

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Abdul Latif Fazly, a member of the provincial council, mentioned eight ladies and 12 youngsters have been killed and greater than 15 civilians wounded within the incident.

Kunar governor Abdul Satar Mirzakwal mentioned an operation by Afghan forces in Sheltan district killed 38 Taliban and al Qaeda members, together with 4 overseas nationals, and wounded 12 extra. He mentioned the operation focused Sharif Mawiya, a commander believed to be a facilitator with Al Qaeda militants.

He mentioned an unknown variety of civilians have been hit within the strike however had no casualty particulars.

“We all know that numerous civilians, together with ladies and youngsters have been killed however we’re sending a truth discovering workforce,” he mentioned.

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A spokeswoman for the NATO-led Resolute Assist mission mentioned it had not carried out any airstrikes in Kunar on the time of the incident. No remark was instantly out there from the protection ministry.

The variety of Afghan civilians killed in U.S. and Afghan airstrikes has risen sharply this yr as Western-backed forces have stepped up aerial operations with the goal of forcing the Taliban to comply with peace talks.

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Based on United Nations figures, 313 civilians have been killed and 336 wounded in airstrikes by U.S. and Afghan forces within the 9 months to the top of September, a 39 per cent improve from the identical interval in 2017.

Airstrike casualties accounted for eight p.c of the entire eight,050 civilian casualties in the course of the interval. The general variety of civilian casualties was roughly steady.

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