Local Officials: Afghan Air Strikes Kill 18 Civilians

Slain were all members of same family

Afghan warplanes attacked a village in Nimrud on Saturday night, killing 18 people, all from the same family. Local officials say they are all civilians, while the military claimed they’d killed a lot of Taliban in the attack.

The Afghan government says they intend to look into the reports of civilian deaths, as local villagers brought bodies into the provincial capital. As is often the case, the military maintains that everyone killed was Taliban.

The Afghan Air Force has struggled with this since it started launching its own operations, killing a lot of civilians in their strikes, and repeatedly contesting those tolls, saying they were confident everyone hit was Taliban.

They thought they were targeting Taliban, because they always think that. The civilian deaths are fueling a lot of mistrust in the force, however, and threaten more splits between the local and national level, who have wildly different takes on what’s happening.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.