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5 soldiers, cop killed in US airstrike

AT-KABUL: At least five Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and a policeman were killed in a US airstrike in the Bala Boluk district of western Farah province, a member of the Wolesi Jirga said on Saturday.

Ghulam Farooq Majroh said that airstrike was carried by the US-led international forces in which six Afghan security personnel, including five soldiers and a cop, were killed.

The 207 Zafar Military Corps confirmed the airstrike and said that the attack was carried by foreign forces and targeted a checkpoint, in which security forces were killed and wounded.

On the other hand, some Afghan officials rejected involvement of the foreign troops in the airstrike.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, Gen. Dawlat Waziri, confirmed the incident and said the airstrike was mistakenly carried by Afghan forces.

“I can confirm that there was no US airstrike in Farah province in the last seven days,” a source in the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Naser Mehri rejected that a US drone targeted Afghan security forces in Bala Boluk district. “No such airstrike took place.”

He said that Afghan Air Force carried airstrikes against militants to help ground forces in battlefield, in which 34 Taliban insurgents were killed and dozen other received injuries.

“For the past four days fighting is underway between Afghan security forces and the Taliban insurgents in the district,” he said.

“Unfortunately, two policemen were killed and four others wounded during the clashes, so far,” he added.

Civilian casualties in airstrikes carried by foreign forces have increased. A few days ago, 15 civilians were killed and several injured in a US drone strike in Achin district of eastern Nangarhar province.

Condemning the attack, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that 15 civilian men were killed and 13 others were injured, including at least one boy, in the strike. In the early morning of Wednesday (September 28), a US drone conducted an airstrike, reportedly targeting members of Daesh that struck a civilian home killing the 15 civilians, the UN mission said in a statement.

According to UNAMA, the civilians had gathered in a village to welcome a tribal elder who returned from the Hajj. The civilians were reportedly sleeping in a guesthouse of the elder when the airstrike occurred. “Civilian victims of the strike included students and a teacher, as well as members of families considered to be pro-Government,” UNAMA said.

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