Pentagon denies civilians killed in Afghanistan airstrike

Pentagon denies civilians killed in Afghanistan airstrike

It came after a U.S. air strike in Sangin killed at least 18 civilians, mostly women and children, in February. "There was zero chance of civilian casualties", he said.

The governor of the Haska Meena District said that the attacks targeted vehicles trying to get out of the area, and that eight of the slain were all members of the same family.

Afghan officials had said at least 16 civilians, including women and children, were killed on Thursday when a private vehicle was struck in Haska Mina district in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

"The militants were observed loading weapons in to a vehicle and were under surveillance until the vehicle was destroyed by an airstrike", said Bob Purtiman, United States Forces-Afghanistan spokesman. "The strike was conducted in the middle of open terrain".

"On Thursday afternoon, the USA forces bombarded a civilian private vehicle. when they were travelling inside the district", Saaz Wali Shinwari, the district governor of Haska Mina in Nangarhar province, told AFP.

"United States Forces-Afghanistan takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously; reviewing each case fully".


They have been regularly targeting the militant Islamic State group fighters who control several districts in restive Nangarhar.

A statement from U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, though, said the airstrike killed only militants.

Deputy Chairman of Provincial Council Abdul Ahad Albak also said the victims were civilians. "But, we have appointed a delegation to investigate if civilians are killed".

The massacre of about 50 men, women and children this week took place in the Sayad district.

UNAMA, however, urged all parties to refrain from exploiting harrowing events for political purposes and before basic facts were established.

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