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Security officials blame Taliban for civilian casualties in Kunduz

By Mansoor Faizy-KABUL: Members of families of the Taliban commanders were among dozens of civilians killed in a US airstrike carried out Thursday in the northern province of Kunduz, Afghan and US officials said.

At least 30 civilians, including women, children and baby kids were killed and dozens wounded in the air raid.

“I deeply regret the loss of innocent lives, regardless of the circumstances.The loss of innocent lives is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the families.We work with our Afghan partners to investigate and determine the facts and we will work with the government of Afghanistan to provided assistance,” General Charles Cleveland, a spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support quoted Gen. John W. Nicholson, the US commander in Afghanistan, as saying.

Furthermore, he told newsmen that on November three Afghan forces advised by US forces conducted a mission in Boz-Kandahari village of Kunduz city, where Taliban we gathered there planed devising another attack in Kunduz.

“So during the course of operation, primary report says friendly forces encountered significant enemy fire from multiple locations, and they defended themselves with ground fire and US air to ground engagement,” he said.

It indicates that several Taliban leaders and Taliban members were killed in the attack.“And as the government of Afghanistan has said, the presence of Taliban in Kunduz province continues to presence a threat to the people. So we would continue to support our Afghan partners as they defend the people of Afghanistan,” he said.

Moreover, defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said that Afghan Special Forces had carried out attack to target a gathering of Taliban commandersat one of their houses in Boz-Kandahari village in Kunduz city. “It was and Afghan-led operation, where US forces had an advisory role in the operation.”

It became clear that key Taliban insurgents, who were leading war in Kunduz city were there, so the Afghan Special Forces carried out operation to kill them.

“When we conduct operation, Taliban insurgent showed strong resistance, in which Afghan security forces received casualties, “three Afghan Special Forces were killed, and seven others wounded”, “two resolute support advisers were also killed, and two other wounded”.

He added that to easy the resistance of the militants, we called for airstrikes from Resolute Support and Afghan Air Forces, and due to airstrikes civilian casualties took place there.

There is no denying to the fact that key Taliban commanders were also killed in the air operation, he added.

He added that in every situation, whether in ground or air operation, protecting civilians are at first place.

“The defense ministry expressing its deepest regrets over civilian casualties that occurred during operation,” he said, adding, “fact-finding team has already assigned to probe the attack.

Moreover, he said that militants even don’t show mercy to their own family. “Militants arrange gathering in their home where their family member were also present there.”

He added that among civilian casualties, seven was the member of the Taliban insurgent, where we also condemned their killing.”

“They were also belongs to Afghanistan, we strongly condemn their killings,” he said, refereeing to the Taliban members casualties.

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