Asia

‘Nine civilians killed in Afghan special operation’

Nine civilians have been killed in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar in what seems to have been a botched operation by Afghan special forces.

The attack was conducted in Chaparhar district late on Monday, but details were unclear.

The Afghan Defense Ministry has yet to comment on the incident.

The provincial spokesman for Nangarhar, Attaullah Khogyani, said on Tuesday that the victims were related to Fazel Hadi Muslimyaar, the chairman of the Pakistani senate.

“A delegation from Kabul has been sent to Nangarhar to investigate the incident,” he said.

The provincial government added that eight people had also been wounded in the attack.

He provided no more details.

Meanwhile, a provincial security source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that Afghan Special Operations Forces had carried out a night raid in the Chino Keli Village of Chaparhar and a gunfight had broken out during the operation, which left the nine people dead and the eight others injured.

The source told Xinhua that several Taliban militants were among those killed and injured, but the local residents said that the casualties were all civilians.

According to the United Nations figures released earlier this year, more than 10,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict last year. While the main cause of civilian deaths was said to be militant bombings, the report said US airstrikes as well as government forces also inflicted a rising toll.

US-led forces invaded Afghanistan and toppled a ruling Taliban regime some 17 years ago. That ongoing war has failed to bring stability to the country despite the presence of thousands of foreign forces. A recent survey found that the militants were active in two-thirds of the country and were fully controlling four percent of it.

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