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Afghanistan: US drone hits IS positions, three civilians possibly killed

'They were in a house to visit someone who had just come from the Hajj pilgrimage,' Ali said. 'A drone targeted the house and killed most of them.' Photograph: (AFP)

Reuters Jalalabad, Nangarhar, Afghanistan Sep 28, 2016, 10.41 AM (IST)

As part of the United States' counter-terrorism efforts, a US drone strike hit Islamic State holdouts in Afghanistan on Wednesday, an Afghan official said. 

The strike in the Nangarhar province, on the eastern border with Pakistan, killed at least 21 people, mostly militants. 

Governor of Achin district Malem Mashooq said the air raids killed at least three civilians and injured another 11. 

A spokesman for the US military command in Kabul confirmed the strike in Achin. 

Brigadier general Charles Cleveland said the US was aware of claims about Afghan civilians being killed in the strike. He said they were reviewing all materials related to the strike. 

"US forces - Afghanistan takes all allegations of civilian casualties very seriously. We are continuing to look into these allegations," he said.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said only a thorough investigation could determine whether any civilians were killed in the incident. 

One of the wounded, Raghon Shinwari recalled the horrifying scenes: "I saw dead and wounded bodies everywhere.”

He told Reuters the attack had struck a gathering to welcome a local elder who had recently returned from the Hajj pilgrimage.

Mohammed Ali, the Achin district police chief, corroborated that account.

"They were in a house to visit someone who had just come from the Hajj pilgrimage," he said. "A drone targeted the house and killed most of them."

(WION with inputs from agencies)

 

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