Afghan Offensive Killed Civilians in Khost Province

Family of seven reportedly among the slain

Backed by airstrikes, the Afghan government launched an offensive in the Khost Province, south of Kabul. The national government has not given an accounting of what happened, but local officials reported at least 17 killed, including a substantial number of civilians.

The airstrikes appear to have been a big problem for civilians, with reports of strikes hitting civilian homes and caving in the roofs. There were reports that one family of seven, including children, was killed.

The Independent Human Rights Commission is calling for investigations into the matter, and promises its own probe. Since the central government hasn’t commented yet, this is a rare case in which they have not denied killing civilians, even when locals are bringing the bodies to nearby cities to protest.

Khost’s governor did try to blame the Taliban for the deaths, saying that they had a bomb that they were transporting that exploded in a house, causing the cave-in. The Taliban denied this, reporting civilian deaths as a result of government airstrikes hitting homes near the Maktab marketplace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.