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10 civilians killed in Haska Mena drone strike

10 civilians killed in Haska Mena drone strike

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On
Jul 24, 2017 - 21:29

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Officials and residents in eastern Nangarhar province on Monday said 10 people were killed and eight others wounded in yesterday’s US drone strike in Haska Mena district.

They also confirmed the killing of 25 Daesh or Islamic State militants and injuries to 15 others in the drone strike that took place on Sunday morning in Mianji Baba village.

Local residents said the drone struck participants of fateha and a donated meal following the death of a tribal elder. But some sources said the fateha was being offered for a slain Daesh commander and a large number of Daesh fighters and commanders were present at the event.

A Pajhwok Afghan News team visited the incident area and talked with local residents and officials about the drone strike.

A joint operation by Afghan and NATO forces is underway in Haska Mena and as a result, a number of families have freshly been displaced.

The civilians suffered casualties after the drone hit four residential homes in Mariz Kandao area.

The Haska Mena district chief, Saz Wali Shinwari, said the drone strike took place after Daesh militants opened fire at the joint forces from people’s homes.

He said one of the destroyed homes belonged to a deceased person, Aman Bacha, where his relatives had gathered to mourn his death.

“They (Daesh) attacked the government forces and as a result killed eight civilians, including women and children and injured six others.”

He accused the insurgents of using civilians as human shield and their homes as bastions.

But local residents put the toll at 10 civilians dead and eight others wounded in the drone strike and clashes between security forces and the insurgents.

Tribal elder Maroof Shah Khan said 10 people, including two women, were killed and eight more, including two women and three children, were wounded in the drone strike and clashes.

The joint security forces are currently busy carrying out ground and air raids against militants in Paeen area of the district.

Before the start of the operation, hundreds of families had left homes and several more have recently fled to other areas.

A resident of the area, Mukhtar, said he and his family members were only able to save their lives and they left behind all household items.

“Everyone was leaving the village after the security forces arrived, so we also left, leaving everything behind.”

Local residents said the government should not relay on short term operations and instead adopt a long term strategy for security of war-affected areas.

Deputy head of the Nangarhar provincial council, Lal Mohammad Durrani, said the government should protect people’s lives and chalk out a long-term security strategy in this regard.

He said the people were not happy with the government strategy against the Taliban and Daesh.

Local officials said the security forces should increase coordination among them in order to prevent civilian casualties.

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