Afghan Governor Confirms Airstrike Killed 11 Children

Defense Minster insists everyone killed was Taliban

Following deadly Taliban attacks in the northern Takhar Province, the Afghan military responded with an airstrike against a mosque in the area, which they appeared to believe was being used as a Taliban base.

The attack killed 12 and wounded 14. The provincial governor reported that the 12 slain included a prayer leader and 11 children. An all-civilian death toll would be another embarrassment for the Afghan Air Force.

The Defense Ministry, therefore, was quick to dispute the toll, saying no civilians were killed, and that everyone inside was Taliban. That’s par for the course for covering up botched airstrikes, but rings hollow since the vast majority of the slain were young children.

VP Saleh threatened legal action against the governor for reporting that the slain were children, saying it was “baseless” and that many of the 12 were “commanders” in the Taliban.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.