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Afghan Leaders Admit Civilians Were Killed in Anti-Taliban Bombing

03 Apr 2018 The New York Times

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Two people wounded in an airstrike on a religious seminary received medical treatment at a hospital in Kunduz on Tuesday.

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Najim Raheem/EPA, via Shutterstock

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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan — A day after Afghan security forces killed or wounded more than 100 people in the bombing of a religious seminary where they said senior Taliban figures had gathered, officials on Tuesday admitted that civilians had been among the casualties.For much of Monday, even as the bodies of wounded and dead civilians — including children — arrived at local hospitals, the Afghan government maintained that its airstrike in northern Kunduz Province had killed only Taliban leaders in a nonresidential area. Late Tuesday, the office of President Ashraf Ghani acknowledged the harm to civilians and said the bombing would be investigated.The United Nations mission in Afghanistan said it was “actively looking into disturbing reports of serious harm to civilians,” and the Kunduz governor’s office said, “In these airstrikes, in addition to armed opposition, unfortunately some of our civilian countrymen have also been killed and wounded.”The exact number of casualties resulting from the airstrikes, which occurred in the Dasht-e-Archi district, remained unclear. Afghan officials put the total at 57 to 70 dead. Some local officials believe the number to be higher.

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Officials would not publicly say how many of those were civilians, but one senior security official said that about 35 percent of the dead were civilians — mostly children who were students at the seminary. He said the dead ranged in age from 8 to 65. Continue reading the main story

Original Link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/03/world/asia/afghanistan-airstrike-civilians.html

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