KABUL: Residents of Gozara district in the western province of Herat claim that 12 civilians were killed and another 20 wounded in an aerial attack that targeted a Taliban gathering this week.
Seven people all civilians went missing in the attack that took place Wednesday in an area between the districts of Gozara and Adraskan.
The government confirmed the attack and said that a number of Taliban militants were killed, but rejected reports of civilian casualties.
Provincial officials said that the strike targeted a number of insurgents who planned to attack government institutions.
Sobhan, who has lost his two brothers and four other relatives in the attack, blamed government’s air force for the casualties.
“My two brothers, cousins and other relatives are the victims of the air attack. We came here to attend a Holy Koran recitation ceremony. We are farmers and came here to eat something in the ceremony. The fighter jets appeared and dropped bombs on us,” said Sobhan with tearful eyes.
The strike happened in the Kham Zeyarat village that also damaged houses and farmlands.
Najibullah, another person who has lost a relative in the attack, called for government compensations.
The attack targeted a Taliban group gathered to welcome their comrade Gholam Nabi who was released from government custody.
Nabi escaped the attack and said that there was no armed man with him while the attack took place.
“We didn’t have any base here. These words are part of government lies who try to hide their treason.”
Abdullah Abdullah, chairman of the reconciliation council condemned the attack, saying that violence and killing of civilians were unjustifiable.