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Anger grows at civilian deaths in aftermath of Balkh airstrike

AT News

KABUL: Anger has simmered in Balkh province after Afghan forces purportedly killed six civilians in an airstrike.

Hundreds of residents in Balkh province on Sunday marched in the streets to protest the killing of six civilians including women and children who they claimed were killed in a pre-dawn airstrike staged by Afghan security forces on Boka village.

Some witnesses claimed that security forces had earlier on Saturday night launched an airstrike on a residential house in the village, killing three women and three children.

Protesters were carrying corpses of the dead and sought implementation of justice to punish the perpetrators. They warned they won’t bury the corpses of the victims if their demand for justice is not accommodated.

The 209th Falcon Corps has confirmed a barrage of airstrikes had been launched against Taliban strongholds in Balkh district but was not aware of any civil casualties in their aftermath.

The Ministry of Defense has said it has staged thirteen aerial and ground strikes to pummel insurgent havens across 24 provinces, killing 50 Taliban militants. Authorities have said a fact-finding delegation had been dispatched to probe the incident.

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