30.11.2018 UNAMA release preliminary regarding civilian casualties in Helmand airstrike
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says the mission’s preliminary findings indicate that as many as 23 civilians were killed and three injured Tuesday in an airstrike in Garmser district of Helmand province during operations conducted by pro-government forces against Taliban in the area.
UNAMA in a statement said initial findings indicate that the vast majority of the victims were women and children. “The Mission is actively working to verify information indicating up to 10 children were killed along with eight women, and three children were injured, including an eight-year-old boy.”
The statement further added that the incident took place during an operation involving Afghan and international military forces, when international military forces conducted an airstrike following engagements between the forces on the ground and Taliban.
According to UNAMA, in addition, three days earlier, during fighting between Taliban and pro-government forces, three civilian homes were struck by explosive ordnance in Nad-e-Ali district of Helmand province, killing two civilians and injuring at least 14 more, including 10 children, reportedly after Taliban initiated an attack from the vicinity of civilian homes against an Afghan National Army convoy returning to its base.
“The Mission welcomes indications that relevant authorities have initiated investigations into the civilian casualty reports, and it will continue its independent enquiries to establish additional facts, sharing the findings with parties as part of advocacy efforts for improved mitigation measures in their future operations to prevent civilian casualties,” UNAMA added.