Kabul: As many as 23 civilians, including at least ten children and eight women, have been killed in an airstrike in Helmand province of Afghanistan, the UN mission in the country said Friday.
Three children were also injured in the incident which took place on Tuesday, Khaama new agency said.
In a statement, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said initial findings indicate that the vast majority of the victims were women and children.
“The Mission is actively working to verify information indicating up to 10 children were killed along with eight women, and three children were injured, including an eight-year-old boy.”
The incident took place during an operation involving Afghan and international military forces, when international military forces conducted an airstrike following engagements between the forces on the ground and Taliban, the statement added.
According to UNAMA, in addition, three days earlier, during fighting between Taliban and pro-government forces, three civilian homes were struck by explosive ordnance in Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province, killing two civilians and injuring at least 14 more, including 10 children, reportedly after Taliban initiated an attack from the vicinity of civilian homes against an Afghan National Army convoy returning to its base.
“The Mission welcomes indications that relevant authorities have initiated investigations into the civilian casualty reports, and it will continue its independent enquiries to establish additional facts, sharing the findings with parties as part of advocacy efforts for improved mitigation measures in their future operations to prevent civilian casualties,” the UNAMA added.