US-backed air raid kills 8 civilians in eastern Afghanistan

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An A-10 Thunderbolt II fires flares. A-10s conducted shows of force with flares to deter enemy activities in Afghanistan. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Chad Strohmeyer)

A joint air raid by Afghan and NATO forces killed eight civilians, including women and children, in Afghanistan’s Logar province, officials and local media confirmed on Monday.

Shahpur Ahmadzai, spokesman for the police headquarters, told Anadolu Agency the U.S. forces hit a suspected Taliban target in the Baraki Barak district last night. Without confirming the death toll, he said investigations have begun into alleged civilian casualties following this raid in residential areas.

However, a local elder of the nomad community in the province told reporters that eight civilians including women and children were killed in the raid. The local Tolo News has also confirmed the civilian death toll in Logar province situated at a distance of less than 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Mohammad Naser Ghairat, a provincial councilman in Logar, said two children were among those killed. A woman and three children were wounded.

Ghairat blamed the international forces in Afghanistan, saying they carried out the airstrike. The alliance did not immediately comment on the reports.

Amid the fast-tracked peace process, there has been an evident surge in civilian casualties across Afghanistan as the warring sides apparently push for upper hand in the proposed talks.

Figures compiled by Anadolu Agency suggest the devastating surge in violence claimed at least 100 civilian lives in the first 10 days of July alone.

Separately, the Taliban have managed to overrun mineral-rich Keran Wa Manjan district in the northern Badakhshan province, an official confirmed.

Jawed Mujadedi, a member of the provincial assembly, told Anadolu Agency the Taliban overran the district after taking control of the Lapis Lazuli mines here following clashes with the security forces. He said heavy losses have been sustained by the security forces as well as by the Taliban.

He did not share details about the death toll.

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