Afghan lawmaker says airstrikes kill 21 civilians

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Airstrikes in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province have killed 21 civilians, together with girls and youngsters, a lawmaker from the area mentioned Sunday.

Mohammad Hashim Alkozai mentioned 13 civilians have been killed in a single strike and eight in one other. Each have been carried out late Friday within the Sangin district, the place heavy combating is underway between NATO-backed Afghan forces and the Taliban. Alkozai mentioned a minimum of 5 different folks have been wounded within the airstrikes.

“Harmless folks, girls and youngsters, are the one victims of the airstrikes,” he mentioned, including that the navy operations have stoked public anger.

Omer Zwak, the provincial governor’s spokesman, mentioned insurgents fired on Afghan forces from a civilian space. He confirmed that airstrikes had killed civilians however couldn’t present additional data. He says an investigation has been launched.

Alkozai mentioned he has raised issues about civilian casualties in parliament and with authorities officers, however that they’ve taken no motion.

Afghan forces are struggling to fight the Taliban, who maintain sway over almost half the nation and perform day by day assaults on safety forces.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban killed a minimum of eight Afghan police in an assault on a checkpoint within the northern Sari Pul province late Saturday, mentioned Zabihullah Amani, the governor’s spokesman. He mentioned three different police have been wounded within the gunbattle, which lasted a number of hours.

The Taliban attacked a military checkpoint within the province late Friday, killing three troopers and wounding 4, Amani mentioned.

In a separate growth, the Afghan intelligence service mentioned it had arrested three members of the Haqqani group, a Taliban faction believed to be primarily based in Pakistan, in reference to two bombings in Kabul that killed and wounded dozens of individuals.

The Nationwide Directorate of Safety mentioned the three suspects confessed to collaborating in a truck bombing close to the German Embassy in Might 2017 that killed a minimum of 90 folks, and a November 2018 assault that killed 5 safety contractors, together with a British nationwide.

The NDS additionally mentioned it had arrested a college professor and an imam in Kabul who had recruited lots of of younger folks for the native Islamic State affiliate, sending them to the jap Nangarhar province for coaching. It mentioned the imam confessed that his personal nephew had carried out a suicide bombing in Kabul.

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