On Sunday night in Afghanistan’s central Wardak Province, a US airstrike destroyed three homes next to one another, killing all within. This killed 12 civilians, including 10 children under the age of 15 and two adult women.
Villagers from the area say they believe the attack was intended to hit a Taliban-run prison full of detainees, which was just 100 meters away from the houses hit. The UN confirmed the civilian death toll, saying it was the second major incident of civilian deaths in the past two weeks, after nine civilians were killed in Kapisa.
These incidents are coming just as a UN report is warning that the soaring number of airstrikes in Afghanistan is also leading to a similar spike in civilian casualties, and the UN has warned that the US and Afghanistan need to make more effort to prevent civilian deaths.
Though some reports suggested that the Wardak attack was a US strike, other reports said it was unclear if it was the US or Afghan government’s planes involved. Both have been increasing strikes, and both have had a growing problem with civilian deaths.