At least 30 civilians are killed after the US-supported drone attack against ISIS is targeted at farmers
At least 30 civilians are killed after the US-supported drone attack against ISIS was targeted at farmers in Afghanistan by accident
- The workers would have gathered around a bonfire when the fatal attack struck
- Forty other workers were injured in the drone attack in Nangarhar province
- The province is host to IS leadership and is therefore a frequent target of air strikes
Thirty farm workers were among the dead in a US-backed drone attack aimed at an IS shelter, but instead hit farmers in a field in eastern Afghanistan.
Forty others were injured in the air raid on Wednesday evening by Afghan security forces, with US air support, officials said.
The attack was aimed at destroying a hiding place used by Islamic State (IS) militants, but inadvertently targeted farmers near a field in the Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani district in the province Nangarhar, three government officials said.
Malik Rahat Gul, a tribal elder in Wazir Tangi, said the air raid took place at a time when weary workers, mostly wage earners, had gathered near their tent after harvesting pine nuts in a nearby field.
& # 39; The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone pointed at them, & # 39; said Gul.
File photo of American soldiers at a checkpoint in the eastern province of Nangarhar province. A US-backed drone attack in the province is said to have killed 30 farm workers in September 2019
The defense ministry in Kabul confirmed that the strike by Afghan and American troops was aimed at hunters belonging to the IS, but refused to share the details of civilian casualties.
American troops in Kabul were not immediately available for a comment.
Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesperson for the provincial governor of Nangarhar, confirmed the air raid. & # 39; The government is investigating the incident, so far nine bodies have been collected from the attack location near a pine seed field. & # 39;
Sohrab Qaderi, a member of the provincial council in the eastern province of Nangarhar, said the 30 dead and 40 wounded workers were in a pine field in Wazir Tangi.
Nangarhar, which lies along the border with Pakistan, has served as the basis for IS in Central Asia.
The Center for Strategic and International Studies said the group posed a & # 39; ongoing threat to the US and related interests in South and Central Asia & # 39 ;.
As a result, air strikes are often aimed at Nangarhar, and at nearby Kunar, in an effort to reach the operational bases and leadership of the group.
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