US Airstrikes in Afghanistan Are Said to Kill 16 Civilians

US Airstrikes Kill 16 Civilians in Afghanistan: Officials

According to the source, the incident took place in Haska Mina district when an airstrike targeted a civilian vehicle on Thursday evening.

A provincial leader of the Islamic State militant group in Afghanistan has been killed in a USA air strike in eastern Kunar province, Afghan and US military officials confirmed Sunday. "All the victims, which included women and children, were civilians and they were from one family", he said.

"The militants were observed loading weapons in to a vehicle and were under surveillance until the vehicle was destroyed by an airstrike", said Bob Purtiman, a spokesman for the American military in Afghanistan. "The strike was conducted in the middle of open terrain".

A spokesman for the governor of Nangarhar province confirmed the civilian deaths to The New York Times.

Mohammada Khan, 42, a truck driver, said in a telephone interview that he had lost six members of his family in the airstrike, which hit a minibus in which they were fleeing."There were no ISIS members in the area", he said.

Airstrikes by U.S. warplanes have also significantly increased in recent months against the purported positions of the Taliban militant group and other terror outfits in the crisis-hit country.

"The death of Abdul Rahman deals yet another blow to the senior leadership of ISIS-K", said General John Nicholson, the senior United States commander in Afghanistan. "It was a clear area, and they should understand that people in the vehicle are civilians, as the auto was a civilian auto".

This is the second false claim of civilian casualties in the same district within the last three weeks, the statement by USFOR-A added. The previous attack targeted a prayer ceremony, and the US similarly claimed that the praying civilians were "ISIS members".

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