Afghans say 13 civilians killed in US-led strike
HERAT, Afghanistan (AFP) — Afghan authorities said Wednesday that at least 13 civilians, including women and children, were killed in a US-led air strike on militants, prompting the military to order an inquiry.
The latest charges of civilian casualties from foreign operations follow tensions on the issue between Kabul and Washington, its main military backer in an escalating fight against a Taliban insurgency.
The strike outside the western city of Herat on Monday targeted a "key insurgent commander" named Gholam Yahya Akbari, the US military said.
"Killed in the attack were up to 15 militants suspected of associating with Yahya," it said.
However, provincial authorities said teams sent to the area to investigate found that civilians were killed.
"The information we have states that 13 civilians have been killed in that air strike -- six women, two children and five men," said provincial government spokesman Naqibullah Arwin.
The identities of three other men killed in the same attack were unclear, the spokesman said.
"Initial information indicates that two of the three bodies could also be civilians. Apparently they were two car mechanics taken there to fix a broken car which belonged to the armed opposition," Arwin said.
Ikramuddin Yawar, police chief for western Afghanistan, earlier confirmed the deaths of six women and two children whom he said were from a nomad tribe, and were killed close to their tents. Read On