Afghanistan

18 killed in US-led airstrike in Afghanistan’s Paktika

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At least 18 people have been killed when US-led foreign forces carried out an airstrike in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Paktika.

Mukhlis Afghan, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said on Saturday that the airstrike targeted a convoy of Taliban militants in Gayan District, located approximately 175 kilometers (108 miles) southeast of the capital, Kabul, late on Friday.

He added that at least 18 militants were slain and three pickup trucks destroyed in the assault.

The Taliban have made no comments on the incident so far.

The US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan have recently increased their air raids against civilian areas.

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On December 29, at least four Taliban militants, among them a commander identified as Syed Izam, were killed in a US assassination drone strike in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nuristan.

A Taliban commander and five other members of the militant group were killed late on December 27, when a US drone struck an area in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in several Muslim countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.

Washington claims the targets of the drone attacks are militants, but local officials and witnesses maintain that civilians have been the main victims of the attacks over the past few years.

People and officials in Afghanistan have protested over the civilian casualties on numerous occasions, but the US drone attacks continue unabated.

The United Nations and several human rights organizations have identified the United States as the world’s number one user of “targeted killings,” largely due to its drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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