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At least 30 civilians killed and more than 40 wounded in an air raid in eastern Afghanistan

September 19, 2019

US military forces confirm the bombing but say it has been “a precision attack” against the Islamic State

At least 30 civilians have died and another 45 have been injured as a result of an air raid on Wednesday night in an area where the peanut harvest was being collected in Nangarhar province, in Eastern Afghanistan, as reported by the television network Tolo.

An Afghan security services official has told the Ariana television network that the air raid, which has taken place in the Joghyani district, has been the work of foreign military forces and has killed at least 25 peanut collectors in the south of Nangarhar province.

The workers hit by the bombing were in full collection of peanuts. Fawad Jan, chief of the Jogyani District Police, has said that at least 25 bodies have been recovered that have been taken to a nearby hospital and that all victims of the air attack are civilians.

For his part, a spokesman for the US military forces in Afghanistan, Colonel Sonny Legget, has confirmed the bombing but has ensured that it has been a “precision attack against Islamic State terrorists” completed in the early hours of the Thursday.

“We are aware of the accusations for deaths of non-combatants and we are working with local authorities to determine the facts to ensure that this is not a ploy to divert the attention of civilians who have killed the Taliban in a hospital in Zabul,” Colonel Legget has assured.

Nangarhar is one of the most unstable provinces in eastern Afghanistan due to the presence of Taliban and Islamic State militiamen in several districts, including Jogyani. At the beginning of September, Afghan special forces mistakenly killed four brothers of the same family in a night raid in the city of Jalalabad, the capital of the Nangarhar region.

After that operation, the head of the Afghan Intelligence agency, Mohamad Masom Stanekzai, presented his resignation and the country's president, Ashraf Ghani.