US-led strikes kill 100 in Afghanistan

US-led strikes kill 100 in Afghanistan

Police in Afghanistan said on Wednesday that US-led air strikes against insurgents had killed 100 people including civilians, in one of the deadliest attacks in nearly eight years.

The US military opened an investigation into strikes late on Monday and Tuesday in the remote western province of Farah, as Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered his government to probe reports of high civilian casualties.

“In general 100 people have been killed in the two villages,” said provincial police chief Abdul Ghafar Watandar, correcting information he gave earlier indicating that “more than 100 non-combatants” had been killed. “Now we are trying to find out what number of them are combatants and what number are civilians,” he said.

Watandar said earlier that “the number of civilians killed in this operation is way more than 30 but we do not have an exact figure at this stage.”

Deputy provincial governor Mohammad Younus Rasouli he had seen the bodies of about 20 children brought to the provincial capital on Tuesday by villagers. If confirmed, the figure of 30 would one of the highest civilian death tolls in air strikes by foreign forces who invaded Afghanistan in 2001 to oust the extremist Taliban regime and then remained to root out militant insurgents.

The International Committee of the Red Cross in Kabul said it had sent a team to investigate on Tuesday.

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