Civilians feared killed in air raid on Taliban base

An investigation has been launched into air raids targeting a Taliban base that resulted in the deaths of at least 13 civilians, including women and children, in the western province of Herat, according to Afghan officials.

The raids, targeting a prison and command base run by the fighters in the Bakhtabad area of Shen Dand district, also hit nearby houses late on Monday evening, Jilani Farhad, Herat provincial spokesman, told Al Jazeera.

“We have sent an investigation team in to the area to find out the damaged it has caused.”

Farhad said the raids were most likely carried out by Afghan forces, but media reports suggested it was the US forces who conducted the raids.

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Responding to the media reports, Farhad said it will be clear in a few days after the investigation is over on Wednesday.

At least 16 Taliban fighters were also killed, he said.

The US Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A) have not yet commented on the incident.

It come a week after US President Donald Trump reversed America’s stance on Afghanistan and authorised a troop build-up.

In his new policy on Afghanistan and South Asia, Trump did not specify the troop levels.

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Earlier this month, hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in Jalalabad city against the alleged killing of 16 civilians in a similar US air strike.

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, at least two security guards were killed on Wednesday after two suicide bombers launched a coordinated attack on a parliamentarian Zahir Qader’s house in eastern Nangarhar province’s Jalalabad.

Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said both suicide bombers detonated suicide vests full of explosive outside Qader’s house.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group later claimed responsibility for the attack.

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Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies