Sun 10 January 2021:
Several civilians killed in an air raid by Afghan forces in the country’s southwestern Nimroz province, according to local officials and witnesses.
Local councillor, Bibi Khair-un Nisa Ghumai, put the civilian death toll at eight, while Nimroz Deputy Governor Abdul Nabi Burahawi said it was unclear how many civilians had been hurt.
Provincial councillor Baz Mohammad Nasir told the dpa news agency on Sunday the air raid in Khashrud district had left at least 14 dead, including women and children.
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Relatives of the victims and witnesses put the death count at 18, all members of the same family in Munazari village.
“Eighteen members of my family were martyred. They were found in pieces,” Afghan news outlet TOLOnews website quoted Saleh Mohammad, a relative of the victims, as saying.
“We were 15 members in our family. I was sleeping and did not notice that our house was attacked. When I woke up, I saw that the wall of our house was damaged and there were bullets around me,” Ahmad told TOLOnews.
شماری از باشندهگان ولسوالی خاشرود نسبت به ادعای دفتر مطبوعاتی ولایت نیمروز که گفته بودند افراد کشته شده طالبان استند، دست به اعتراض زده و جنازههای قربانیان را به مرکز نیمروز آورده اند.#ArianaNews #ATNNews #AryanaNews #ATN #News #Afghanistan #Nimroz #civilians #Airstrikes pic.twitter.com/v0y6dmxOlR
— Ariana News (@ArianaNews_) January 10, 2021
The Defence Ministry’s 215th corps said in a statement that reports had been received of civilian casualties and that these would be investigated.
Government officials, who confirmed the Saturday night strike, said on Sunday that initial information showed the deaths were all of Taliban fighters battling Afghan security forces.
“An airstrike in Khashrod district has resulted in heavy casualties for the Taliban, and investigations into allegations that civilians have been killed are ongoing,” the Afghan Ministry of Defence said in a statement on Sunday.
The continuing fighting throughout the country has led to 1,282 civilian deaths in the first half of 2020, according to the United Nations, and 2,176 others wounded during the period.
The total number of civilians killed in the country since 2009 has surpassed 100,000, the UN said at the end of last year.
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