NATO Airstrike Kills 30 in Kunduz

Buildings in ruins after NATO airstrike Buildings in ruins after NATO airstrike Al Manar

3 November 2016
Mostly civilians are victimized when Kunduz is the target of an airstrike.

On Thursday, 3 November 2016, a NATO airstrike hit Kunduz killing at least 30 civilians, most of whom were women, children and babies. Fighting was reported outside the city center Thursday night, and not long after, the bombing ensued in favor of Afghan and US troops, targeting the Taliban. Citizens have said the death toll is higher than reported by officials. According to Kunduz police chief General Qasim Jangalbagh, the target of the airstrike appeared to be two Taliban commanders killed in the fighting.

The attack adds to an overwhelming and growing civilian casualty total in Afghanistan, where 95 have been killed and 111 injured in the last week alone. In addition to civilian casualties, military casualties are high as well. 5,500 Afghan troops have been killed in the first eight months of 2016. The United States claims the strikes were conducted to protect “friendly forces” in an operation in which two American soldiers were killed. The NATO- led Resolute Support confirmed in a separate statement.

"The service members came under fire during a train, advise and assist mission with our Afghan partners to clear a Taliban position and disrupt the group's operations in Kunduz district," the US military said in a statement. The United States later acknowledged the attacks probably caused civilian deaths and promised an investigation.

The Taliban came close to overrunning Kunduz last month, but was overtaken. The city is now secure, but the Taliban controls many of the surrounding areas. Although the United States stopped fighting the Taliban in 2014, some Special Forces units still engage. U.S. military also remains in Afghanistan as a part of the NATO-led Resolute Support training and assistance mission.


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