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05 March 2024

At least 21 civilians killed in Nato airstrike in southern Afghanistan

Afghan soldiers look at a dog during an operation in Marjah, Helmand province. Nato forces are facing strong resistance eight days into a major offensive in southern Afghanistan, as Taliban fighters dig in to fight to the death. (REUTERS)

The Afghan Interior Ministry says at least 21 civilians were killed by a NATO airstrike in southern Afghanistan.

Nato forces confirmed in a statement that its planes fired on a group of vehicles Sunday that it believed contained insurgents who were about to attack its forces, only to discover later that women and children were in the cars.

Nato did not provide a figure of how many died or say if all those in the vehicles were civilians. The Afghan government and Nato have launched an investigation.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said investigators collected 21 bodies and that two others are missing. He said 14 people were wounded.

The strike hit three mini buses that were driving down a major road. Bashary said there were 42 people in the vehicles, all civilians.


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