US dis­putes it was wrong to hit Afghan drug labs

The Morning Call - - NATION & WORLD -

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.

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