Civilians dead in Afghan bombings

115.jpgDozens of civilians are reported to have been killed in air raids by Western occupation forces in the Afghan southern province of Helmand.

 

Residents have told journalists and provincial officials that many civilians were killed and others wounded in the raids on Thursday in the remote district of Baghran, which lies to the north of Lashkar Gah.

Afghan puppet authorities said on Friday they were checking the reports and Mohammad Hussein Andiwal, Helmand’s police chief, said that at least 20 wounded civilians had been brought to a main hospital in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital.

“I can confirm there were heavy bombardments,” Andiwal told Reuters by phone from Helmand.

 

“We have heard of heavy casualties too and have sent a team to investigate this.”

 

Dan Nolan, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in Kabul, said: “It does appear there were a large amount of civilians killed and injured.”

 

‘Public execution’

 

He said Afghan government sources had said a public execution of a suspected spy carried out by the Taliban had been taking place when the aircraft struck.

 

The US occupation military said in a statement late on Thursday that coalition forces had conducted a “precision” air raid against two “notorious Taliban commanders” conducting a leadership meeting in a remote area of the Baghran district on Thursday.

 

It said the fate of the pair was unknown.

 

Residents and an official said the bombings occurred as a huge crowd of people had gathered to watch the execution by Taliban fighters.

A Taliban spokesman said there was no public execution and those killed were all civilians attending a ceremony at a shrine.

There was no independent verification of the reported accounts from either side.

 

More than 350 civilians have been killed in operations by foreign forces this year in Afghanistan, according to government officials and aid workers.

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