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NATO denies airstrikes hit Kunduz school

NATO denies airstrikes hit Kunduz school

Jul 15, 2017 - 14:59

KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): A NATO airstrike destroyed a school and some civilian homes in northern Kunduz province on Saturday, an official said, but the military alliance rejected the claim.

The governor’s spokesman, Syed Mahmood Danish, told Pajhwok Afghan News NATO forces ‘mistakenly’ bombed Mashad High School in Kunduz City, the provincial capital, this morning.

He said the target of the airstrike was Khawaja Ghaltan School where according to him the Taliban were hiding.

Hashmatullah Sediqui, the Mashad high school principal, said the bombardment took place at around 4:00am, partially damaging the school building.

US forces media office in Kabul in response to an email said the school in Kunduz was not targeted.

The reply said, according to the National Directorate of Security or NDS, the school was damaged from a kitchen fire and explosion.

“There is no connection between the strikes conducted against the Taliban last night by US Forces and the fire at the school.”

It said several terrain denial strikes were conducted in Kunduz last night, impacting areas in an open field. There were no civilians observed in the area and no structures hit, the reply said.

Kunduz residents also reacted to the airstrike. Amruddin, a resident of Khwaja Mashad, said: “We are seriously concerned about airstrikes on residential areas, it means people are not safe even in their homes.”

Haji Rahimullah, another resident of Kunduz city, said the government should ensure security for students so they could continue their education.

Also a number of Wolesi Jirga or lower house members demanded an investigation into the airstrike that hit the school in Kunduz City.

Shukria Payman, a lawmaker from Kunduz, told today’s session: “The people of Kunduz sometimes come under attack from militants and sometimes from Afghan and foreign forces, for how long they should suffer.”

She said it should be explained why the airstrike was carried out in the city’s safest area.

Her colleague Fatima Aziz also called for investigation into the airstrike and said the massacre of Kunduz people should be stopped. She asked the administrative board of the Wolesi Jirga to comprehensively investigate the incident.

Most of those suffered in the incident were civilians, she claimed, asking the perpetrators of the airstrikes to compensate the victims. Many other lawmakers held similar views.