US disputes it was wrong to hit Afghan drug labs
KABUL, Afghanistan — U.S. airstrikes in May on suspected Taliban drug facilities killed 30 civilians, the United Nations said Wednesday in a detailed report on the incident. The U.S. military disputed the claims, arguing that all those killed in the strikes were combatants.
The strikes targeted drug labs run by the Taliban that produce methamphetamine. The U.S. military said the workers in those labs are legitimate targets because they “were members of the Taliban,” according to a statement Wednesday by the media office of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The United Nations said under international law “facilities that contribute economically or financially to the war effort … are considered civilian objectives.” The strikes were carried out in Afghanistan’s western Farah and Nimruz provinces.
In Russia: A nonprofit organization exposing corruption in Russia and run by opposition leader Alexei Navalny was designated Wednesday by the Justice Ministry as a “foreign agent,” crippling its ability to keep working.
A 2012 Russian law holds that any organization that receives foreign money to engage in “political activity” must register with the authorities and submit to time-consuming regular “audits.”
Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation has “never received foreign donations,” tweeted its spokeswoman, Kira Yarmysh. The designation is nothing more than “an attempt to stop our activities,” she wrote. Navalny is the most prominent Russian critic of President Vladimir Putin.