US strike kills Afghan civilians

A US airstrike in Afghanistan has killed 17 villagers, including women and children, according to a high-ranking provincial official.

    An Afghan villager sits near a bombed brick furnace

    Kunar Governor Asad Allah Wafa told journalists in Kabul on Monday that the 17 killed were civilians, but did not say whether any anti-US fighters also died in the attack.

    The US military confirmed on Monday that some civilians were killed in the attack on what it called a known terrorist compound, adding that it regretted the loss of innocent life.

    A statement by the US military said the attack was "with precision-guided munitions that resulted in the deaths of an unknown number of enemy terrorists and non-combatants ... battle damage assessment is currently ongoing".

    The bombing occurred in Kunar province last Friday, three days after an elite US military team disappeared in the same mountainous region.

    But Aljazeera.net has learned that a private Afghan TV station reported a second member of a US special forces team missing in eastern Afghanistan had been located just hours after the recovery of another soldier. 

    Tolo television said on Monday that "

    US officials in Afghanistan have said that two missing US soldiers have been found in the eastern mountains of Afghanistan.

    "But there is no information in hand about the fate of the two other members of this team," the report added.

    Assassination condemned

    Meanwhile, an Afghan electoral body preparing for September's parliamentary ballot told Aljazeera.net on Monday that it was outraged at the assassination of a provincial election committee member in the southern city of Kandahar.

    The Joint Electoral Control Board (JECB) said Mulla Muhammad Mesbah's murder on Sunday was a senseless act aimed at preventing democratic progress.

    "We condemn - without reservation - any and all violence that prevents nationals from rebuilding their country and preparing the way for peace and prosperity", said JECB chief Bismillah Khan.

    Mesbah was shot by unknown assailants on Sunday and died from his wounds some hours later in a US military hospital. He was the third election official to be killed in Afghanistan in the past four weeks.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


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