Home South Asia Afghanistan Kabul investigates as 14 civilians killed in Afghan raid

Kabul investigates as 14 civilians killed in Afghan raid

14 civilians
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AFP |

Afghan officials launched an investigation Wednesday into claims at least 14 civilians were killed in a military ground operation targeting the Islamic State group in their stronghold in eastern Afghanistan.

Following Tuesday night’s raid by Afghan special forces in Rodat district of Nangarhar province, scores of protesters temporarily blocked a major highway linking Afghanistan and Pakistan to demand action against those responsible for the attack.

Sultan Mohammad, who was among the protesters, told AFP 14 people were killed in the operation and four others were wounded. Local elder Najibullah Amarkhil put the death toll slightly higher at 16, including women and children.

Violence has intensified in the past year as US and Afghan forces step up ground and air offensives against Taliban and IS insurgents.

“Government forces raided several houses — they killed 14 people, including a six-month-old baby,” Amarkhil told AFP, adding two more died from their wounds in hospital.

“We demand the government punish those responsible.” Afghan broadcaster Tolo News said the death toll was “at least 17”.

Read more: Russia to meet ISIS threat from Afghanistan

Images posted on Tolo’s Twitter account purportedly showed dozens of men crowded around the bodies of victims under a tent next to the highway connecting the Nangarhar provincial capital of Jalalabad with Torkham, one of the major border crossings into Pakistan.

Sultan Mohammad, who was among the protesters, told AFP 14 people were killed in the operation and four others were wounded. 

Provincial governor spokesman Attaullah Khogyani confirmed there had been casualties in the operation and said an official probe was under way.  “A delegation has been sent to the area to investigate the incident and report back to us,” Khogyani told AFP.

Ordinary Afghans have borne the brunt of the 17-year war, which is on track to be deadlier than Syria in 2018. Civilians continue to face “extreme levels of harm”, a recent UN report said, with 8,050 people killed or wounded in the January to September period.

Read more: US evacuates ISIS militants from Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan

Violence has intensified in the past year as US and Afghan forces step up ground and air offensives against Taliban and IS insurgents.

IS, a smaller but potent rival of the Taliban, emerged in the region in 2014 and quickly established a heavy presence in Afghanistan’s east before expanding north.


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