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‘Harming civilians unacceptable, must stop’

AT News

KABUL: A US airstrike in Dasht-e-Archi district of the northern Kunduz province have killed at least five civilians. Residents of the district on Friday said that an airstrike conducted by the US forces has killed five civilians, including a commander of Hezb-e-Islami – a political party, led by former Jihadi leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar.

They had carried the dead bodies on the streets of the provincial capital city, Kunduz, calling on the government for justice.

Disturbing reports of civilian casualties from Kunduz, said Shaharzad Akbar, chairperson of Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC).

“Harming civilians is unacceptable and must stop. Civilians are not a target. All sides have a duty to protect civilians,” she tweeted.

According to a tribal elder, Nick Mohammad, the death toll includes two tribal elders a child and as well as many women. “They had no links with militants.” The incident has brought high frustration and concerns by a number of political figures.

Former President Hamid Karzai has strongly condemned civilian casualties, saying that attacks and bombardment on the Afghan villages and homes are the violation of Afghan national sovereignty. He wished paradise for the martyrs and a quick recovery for the injured.  

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the US forces said that investigations have been launched and further information will be provided. “We are aware of the reports of civilian casualties reported to have occurred in Dasht-e-Archi district or Imam Sahib district, Kunduz province, on Jan. 30. We are looking into these reports and will provide more information when it becomes available.”

Moreover, a member of Hezb-e-Islami Party, Hamayoun Jarir said the air strike has killed a member of the party alongside with seven members of his family. “Their car was targeted, while they were traveling to a funeral.” However, he said the airstrike has been conducted in Imam Sahib district of the province.

Local officials have refrained to provide any information and said that they will put an investigation to find out the details.

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