Civilians killed in Afghan forces’ anti-Taliban operation

Civilians killed in Afghan forces’ anti-Taliban operation

A number of civilians have been killed in an air raid and ground assault on a Taliban hideout by Afghan special forces in the southern Helmand province.

There were conflicting reports on the number of people killed and wounded in the operation on Sunday night in Musa Qala district, which is under Taliban control.

Officials said the civilians killed were part of a wedding procession that came under fire during the operation targeting a house used by the Taliban.

Omar Zwak, the provincial governor’s spokesman, told Al Jazeera on Monday at least 14 fighters including six foreigners were killed, adding that authorities were investigating reports on civilian casualties.

“We know there have been civilian deaths in this raid but we don’t have a number yet,” he said. “However, we are investigating to find out more.”

Attaullah Afghan, a member of the Helmand provincial council, told Reuters news agency that 35 civilians were killed and 13 wounded.

Abdul Majed Akhund, deputy provincial councilman, told The Associated Press news agency authorities were investigating reports that at least 24 people attending a wedding died in the raid.

More soon…

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