Afghan government airstrikes kill 24 civilians: Witnesses

Afghan government airstrikes kill 24 civilians: Witnesses

Kabul, September 20

Government airstrikes in northern Afghanistan killed 24 civilians, together with kids, and wounded six others, witnesses advised The Associated Press on Sunday.

The two witnesses contacted by the AP stated most of these killed in Saturday’s airstrikes, which struck the village of Sayed Ramazan in northern Kunduz province, have been civilians. The Khanabad district within the province the place the village is positioned is Taliban-controlled.

The Afghan Defence Ministry, nevertheless, stated the airstrikes killed 30 Taliban fighters, however added an investigation was being made into claims that civilians have been amongst these killed.

The airstrikes come as Taliban and government-appointed negotiators are assembly for the primary time in Qatar to debate the way forward for Afghanistan and an finish to a long time of struggle and battle.

Villagers stated an preliminary airstrike focused a home belonging to a Taliban fighter, whose residence doubled as a checkpoint for stopping and frisking folks to make sure they weren’t linked to the federal government.

The explosion set fireplace to a close-by residence, trapping a household inside, stated Latif Rahmani, who witnessed the airstrikes and spoke to the AP by cellphone.

Rahmani stated farmers and villagers ran to douse the fireplace and rescue trapped relations inside when a second airstrike hit, killing a lot of them.

Rahmani, who stated he was engaged on his home on the time of the airstrike, warned his neighbours in opposition to working towards the burning buildings for worry of a second airstrike.

“I yelled at people and told them not to go because maybe there would be another bombing, but they ran to help and to put out the fire,” Rahmani stated.

A second witness within the space, Kalamuddin, who like many Afghans makes use of only one title, stated the lone Taliban fighter who lived in the home that was initially hit had been killed. He stated 5 kids have been among the many 24 civilians that have been killed.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the airstrikes and stated the Taliban had no army operations within the space on the time of the airstrike.

The United Nations has harshly criticized each side within the battle for the relentless killing of civilians in Afghanistan’s protracted struggle.

A UN report stated 1,282 Afghan civilians have been killed within the first half of 2020, down 13% from 2019.

The peace talks in Qatar are a part of a US-brokered take care of the Taliban that may ultimately result in US withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan.

In late July, an Afghan authorities airstrike killed not less than 14 folks within the western Herat province, a lot of them girls and youngsters.     

Witnesses stated a whole bunch of individuals had gathered to welcome residence a former Taliban fighter free of jail when plane pounded the gathering.

Earlier that month, Afghan nationwide military personnel fired mortars right into a busy market in southern Helmand, killing 23 folks. The Defence Ministry remains to be investigating the incident.

Also Saturday, not less than six rockets have been fired at NATO’s Resolute Support base in southern Kandahar. No casualties have been reported and nobody claimed accountability. NATO stated in a press release that if the Taliban have been behind the rocket fireplace, it may jeopardize the US peace deal by which the Taliban have promised to not assault US and NATO forces. AP