A NATO airstrike in Afghanistan killed up to 15 people on Sunday, Afghan officials announced, adding that at least nine of them were civilians, including four women and four children.
Al Jazeera reports:
Kunar province police chief Abdul Habib Sayed Khaili said the airstrike hit a pickup truck carrying women and children in Qoro village soon after three Arab and three Afghan militants boarded it Saturday evening. He said some reports called it a drone strike, but that Afghan officials had been unable to confirm that. Of the 15 dead, four were women, four were children and one was the driver, the police official said.
However, Kunar Provincial Governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala told Agence France-Presse that at least 12 civilians—four women, four children and four men—were killed, along with four insurgents.
NATO denied the claims that civilians had died in the strike.
As the world watches the U.S. consider yet another war in the region, sure to destabilize even further an already war-torn country, today's strike in Afghanistan shows that after more than a decade of U.S. intervention, conditions in the country are highly unstable and lethal for the civilian population.
According to the United Nations around 1,000 Afghan civilians have been killed and more than 2,000 wounded in the first half of this year alone in fighting between NATO forces and insurgents—a 24 percent increase in civilian casualties compared to the year before.