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5 civilians die in US airstrike in Afghanistan

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At least five civilians, including three children, have been killed in an airstrike carried out by US-led forces in eastern Afghanistan, Press TV reports.

According to provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal, the attack took place on Friday in the area of Saracha, a few kilometers from Jalalabad city, the capital of eastern Nangarhar Province.

“Last night around 11 p.m., five civilians aged between 12 and 20 carrying air guns wanted to go hunting birds some eight kilometers (five miles) from the center of the city of Jalalabad. They were targeted and killed by a foreign forces airstrike,” Mashreqiwal said.

A NATO spokesman has confirmed the airstrike without referring to the casualties.

Meanwhile, Mohammad Atif Shinwari, a spokesman for the Nangarhar education department, said that three of the civilians killed in the air raid “were school children, two were brothers.”

Many civilians have lost their lives in US-led strikes and operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past decade, with Afghans becoming increasingly outraged at the seemingly endless number of the deadly assaults.

The US claims its airstrikes target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims.

In September, a US-led airstrike left at least 16 civilians, including women and children, dead in Kunar Province in eastern Afghanistan.

Afghan officials said the attack targeted a truck and killed all on board. However, NATO denied that civilians died, saying the attack had killed militants.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has repeatedly questioned the legality of the drone strikes and on numerous occasions has called on Washington to stop the attacks.

The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law.

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