Afghan Governor: Five Civilians Killed in Airstrike on Vehicle

Officials promise investigation, but defense ministry mum

Several provincial officials from Afghanistan’s Farah Province are reporting that on Saturday, a vehicle was destroyed in an airstrike, killing five businessmen within. The men were traveling from Farah city to Abu Nasar Farahi Port.

Officials, notably Farah Governor Massoud Bakhtor, have said that they are obliged to investigate and share findings on what happened and why. Bakhtor promised “serious action.”

That said, it’s not clear who was responsible for the airstrike, and even provincial officials are in the dark on the matter. It could be a US airstrike, or an Afghan military strike, and the Afghan Defense Ministry has refused to make any comment at all.

It’s not unusual for the Afghan Defense Ministry to be tight-lipped when civilian casualties are reported, but refusing to directly address the matter with the Farah governor could be a much bigger issue for them, and one which could further alienate the central government from the provinces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.