A disastrous pair of airstrikes, one by the US and one by the Afghan Air Force, have killed at least 29 civilians in Helmand Province. Almost all of the slain from both strikes were members of the same extended family.
Amid a multi-day offensive in the contested Sangin District, the ground troops called in air spport. Among these strikes, the Afghan Air Force inexplicably attacked a civilian house, killing 16 members of the same family.
Which would have been bad enough, but the major funeral organized for the 16 people killed by surviving members of their extended family, was also attacked. According to the provincial government, the US attacked as male family members were in the process of burying the dead, killing 13 more people, bringing the civilian toll to 29.
While bombing random funerals isn’t exactly unheard for the US forces in Afghanistan, it’s also not something they’re particularly proud of. That’s likely why the US military spokesman is claiming it didn’t happen, saying it must’ve been “Taliban propaganda.”
There is no sign the Taliban even addressed the matter, however, with reports of the civilians slain coming from provincial officials, including members of the Helmand parliament.
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