The United States has condemned the killing of civilians, including children, by government forces in an anti-Taliban attack in Afghanistan. At least 45 people, including Taliban members and ordinary villagers, were killed in the air strikes on Wednesday. A US military spokesman said the bombing occurred in the afternoon in front of the US military base.
In a post on Twitter, UN Special Envoy of Afghanistan Jalmai Khalilzad condemned the attack. He said that various photographs and eyewitness accounts of the scene in Herat showed that many civilians were among the victims of the Afghan airstrikes. We condemn the attack and support its investigation.
Jalmai Khalilzad said that the United States along with the government of Afghanistan had condemned the Taliban attack in the past.
The Afghan military says Wednesday’s air strike was aimed at ending the Taliban. But it has created new tensions over the deaths of common villagers, including children. The Taliban has issued a written statement on the incident. Authorities have promised to investigate the situation.
Analysts say the peace process of the security forces, which started a few months ago with the Taliban, was a major setback for the security forces’ attack.
The incident began on Wednesday night. Herat province in the eastern part of Afghanistan. Adraskan district is inhabited by Taliban. District Governor Ali Ahmed Fakir Yar said that there were two consecutive airstrikes on Wednesday night. One bomb after another was dropped from the plane. In an instant, the entire area was turned into rubble. The area inhabited by the Taliban is said to be densely populated. As a result, many civilians died in the attack.
Eyewitnesses said that many common villagers along with Taliban members were killed in the attack. A Taliban statement said that members of the Taliban who were recently released from prison and were planning to return to normal life again took up arms.
In the face of criticism, the Afghan government has said that it will look into how civilians were killed and how many were killed. That report will be published in the media soon.
The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban leadership in February. Under the agreement, Washington promised to release about 5,000 Taliban prisoners. In return, the Taliban promised to release 1,000 members of the security forces. That process is still going on.
The United States and Afghan security forces have so far released 4,000 Taliban prisoners. The Taliban have released 500 prisoners. Experts fear that Wednesday’s attack will bring a rift in the process.
According to an independent human rights group, there have been a total of 70 violent incidents since the signing of the peace deal in Afghanistan in February. One thousand 213 civilians were killed. One thousand 744 people were injured. But Wednesday’s incident has outpaced everything. Source: Al Jazeera, D.W.