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Afghan officials: Airstrike kills 6 in eastern province

RAHIM FAIEZJuly 22, 2019

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A joint airstrike by NATO and Afghan forces killed at least six civilians in eastern Logar province, officials said Monday.

Two children were among those killed in Sunday night’s attack, and a woman and three children were wounded, said Mohammad Naser Ghairat, a provincial councilman in Logar.

He blamed the international forces in Afghanistan, saying they carried out the airstrike in Baraki Barak district. The alliance did not immediately comment on the reports.

Shah Poor Ahmadzai, the Logar provincial police chief’s spokesman, said a delegation had been sent to the area and that an investigation was underway.

“I can confirm the airstrike and casualties among civilians, including women and children,” Ahmadzai said.

The Taliban, who control roughly half of Afghanistan, said via their Twitter account that five women and four children were killed by the airstrike in Logar.

In northeastern Afghanistan, Taliban insurgents overran the district headquarters of Kuran wa Munjan in Badakhshan province, according to Afghan security officials.

A police official from the province said the Taliban had intensified their attacks on Afghan forces over the last nine days, culminating in the district headquarters’ capture late Sunday.

He said there were casualties on both sides but could not provide an exact figure, as the fight was still ongoing. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility and said the group’s fighters had taken control of the district headquarters.

Rohullah Ahmadzai, spokesman for the defense ministry, said that Afghan troops were preparing to retake the district headquarters.

The Taliban have a strong presence in Badakhshan and often target Afghan security forces in different parts of the province.

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