Afghanistan: Shocking disregard for civilians as US drone strike adds to death toll
Responding to the reported killing of numerous farmers in a US drone strike in Afghanistan, on the same day that 20 civilians were reportedly killed in a suicide bomb attack on a hospital, Amnesty International USA’s Security with Human Rights Director Daphne Eviatar said:
“On yet another deadly day in Afghanistan, once again it is civilians who bear the brunt of the violence involving armed groups, the Afghan government and their backers in the US military.
“That a US drone strike purportedly targeting IS militants could instead result in the deaths of scores of farmers is unacceptable and suggests a shocking disregard for civilian life.
“US forces in Afghanistan must ensure that all possible precautions are taken to avoid civilian casualties in military operations.”
Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry and a senior US official in Kabul confirmed the drone strike, which took place in the Khoghyani district of Nangarhar province in the early hours of Thursday morning.
There are conflicting reports on the number of civilians killed in the attack, with the reported death toll ranging from nine to 35. Most of those killed are reported to be farmers.
Meanwhile on Thursday, at least 20 civilians were reportedly killed in a suicide truck bomb attack carried out by the Taliban in the southern province of Zabul.