Four killed in US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan
At least four people have been killed in a fresh US drone attack on Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, police officials say.
Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial police department, said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fired a missile at a car in Goshta district, located 35 kilometers (20 miles) east of the provincial capital of Jalalabad, late on Thursday.
He further noted that the assault targeted a group of Taliban militants and those killed in the airstrike were members of the terrorist group.
Taliban militants, however, have not yet made any comments on the incident.
A similar attack in the Khas Kunar district of Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Kunar killed at least seven people earlier in the day.
On May 4, a drone strike in the Momand Dara district of Nangarhar Province left at least seventeen people dead. A local Taliban militant commander was reportedly among the dead.
A drone raid in the Chapa Dara of Kunar Province killed least three people on April 28.
The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
While Washington claims the targets of the drone attacks are al-Qaeda militants, local officials and witnesses maintain that, in most cases, civilians have been the victims of the attacks over the past few years.
Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still witnessing violence, which threatens stability.
At least 13,500 foreign forces remain in Afghanistan despite the end of the US-led combat mission, which came on December 31, 2014. The forces, mainly from the US, are there for what Washington calls a support mission. US-led NATO says the forces will focus mainly on counterterrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.