US to investigate civilians causalities in Afghan Airstrike
Days after a US airstrike allegedly killed civilians in Afghanistan, the US officials reportedly pledged a full investigation into the incident after facing criticism from different corners.
At least 30 civilians, including women, children and babies, have been reportedly killed in a NATO air strike in the northern province of Kunduz. The US forces later said its air strikes “very likely” resulted in civilian casualties.
The commander of US forces in Afghanistan, Gen John Nicholson expressed his regret over the loss of innocent lives, The Guardian reported.
Nicholson said in a statement: “An initial investigation has determined that efforts near Kunduz on 3 November to defend Afghan National Defense and Security Forces likely resulted in civilian casualties.”
“We will work with our Afghan partners to investigate and determine the facts and we will work with the government of Afghanistan to provide assistance,” he added.
The strike occurred in early Thursday after a Taliban assault left two American soldiers and three Afghan Special Forces soldiers dead in the Boz-e-Kandahari area.
According to Kunduz police Chief General Qasim Jangalbagh, the target of the joint operation appeared to be two senior Taliban commanders killed in the fighting among 65 fighters, media reports revealed.
Moreover, the Afghan government also launched a probe into the incident. “The president of Afghanistan has sent a special delegation to Kunduz to investigate the incident. Any negligence by anyone will be punished,” presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said.
Meanwhile, US has confirmed the death of a senior al-Qaeda leader targeted by a US drone strike in north eastern Afghanistan last month.
Reportedly, Farouq al-Qahtani, the group’s leader in the area, was killed two weeks ago in a precision strike, according to the Pentagon. It is to be noted that Saudi-born al-Qahtani was placed on a US list of most wanted terrorists in February.