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Air strike on Afghan wedding convoy kills four civilians and wounds eight

05 Oct 2018 TRT World

Afghan officials say the incident is still being investigated and it is unclear whether the casualties were caused by Afghan or US aircraft, both of which flew missions in support of the operation. A NATO spokesman says its aircraft were'nt involved.

An air strike by security forces

killed four people, including a child and three women, and wounded eight others who were part of a

wedding procession in the southeast province of Kandahar,

officials said on Friday.

Aziz Ahmad Azizi, provincial governor's spokesman, says eight others, including a child and seven women, were wounded in Thursday night's strike, which had targeted Taliban insurgents.

Azizi says Taliban fighters attacked villages in Mahrof district but faced strong resistance by police. He said one police was killed and three others wounded.

Ten Taliban were killed and eight were wounded in the battle, Azizi said. 

Abdul Raziq, the Kandahar police chief, said Taliban

militants had mounted an attack in the Maroof district when

security forces responded with an air strike on Thursday.

"They (Taliban) tried to flee and got mixed up with

villagers at a wedding procession. The air strike killed four

civilians, including women and children, and 10 Taliban

militants," Raziq told Reuters.

Kandahar province, on the border with Pakistan, is a major

center of opium cultivation and a stronghold of the Taliban.

Taliban insurgents often hide in civilian homes after

staging attacks on government targets and use civilians as human

shields to escape.

Afghan officials said the incident was still being

investigated and it was unclear whether the casualties had been

caused by Afghan or US aircraft, both of which flew missions

in support of the operation.

A NATO spokesman said its aircraft were not involved.

"I can confirm we did not participate in any operations near

Ma'ruf (Maroof district) within the past 24 hours," said Col.

Knut Peters, a NATO spokesman in Kabul.

According to the United Nations, at least 1,692 civilians

have been killed in fighting in the first half of the year.

Source: Reuters

Original Link: https://www.trtworld.com/asia/air-strike-on-afghan-wedding-convoy-kills-four-civilians-and-wounds-eight-20695

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