UN probes claims US airstrike killed 32

The Myanmar Times - - World -

THE United Na­tions is in­ves­ti­gat­ing claims that up to 32 civil­ians were killed in a US airstrike in the volatile Afghan prov­ince of Kun­duz last week, call­ing any loss of civil­ian life “un­ac­cept­able”.

The strike on Novem­ber 3 trig­gered an­gry protests in Kun­duz, with lo­cal of­fi­cials say­ing at least 30 peo­ple had been killed, many of them chil­dren whose mu­ti­lated bod­ies were pa­raded through the streets by griev­ing rel­a­tives.

Civil­ian ca­su­al­ties caused by NATO forces have been one of the most con­tentious is­sues in the 15-year cam­paign against the in­sur­gents, prompt­ing strong crit­i­cism.

US forces have con­ceded that the strike “very likely” re­sulted in civil­ian ca­su­al­ties and pledged a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the “ter­ri­ble event”.

The killings came just days be­fore the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, in which Afghanistan has re­ceived scarcely a pass­ing men­tion – even though the sit­u­a­tion there will be an ur­gent mat­ter for the new pres­i­dent.

Ei­ther Don­ald Trump or Hillary Clin­ton will in­herit America’s long­est war with no end in sight.

It was also the sec­ond time in just over a year that a US airstrike has gone wrong in Kun­duz.

Last year, a US air strike hit a hos­pi­tal op­er­ated by Medecins Sans Fron­tieres killing 42 peo­ple and spark­ing in­ter­na­tional out­rage.

On Novem­ber 6 the UN’s mis­sion in Afghanistan (UNAMA) an­nounced it is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the al­le­ga­tions sur­round­ing the strike.

“Pre­lim­i­nary find­ings in­di­cate that the aerial op­er­a­tion killed at least 32 civil­ians and in­jured an ad­di­tional 19 civil­ians, the vast ma­jor­ity of whom were women and chil­dren,” a UNAMA state­ment said.

“The loss of civil­ian life is un­ac­cept­able and un­der­mines ef­forts to­ward build­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in Afghanistan,” said Tadamichi Ya­mamoto, the UN spe­cial en­voy to Afghanistan. –

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.