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US Military in Afghanistan reacts to latest UNAMA report regarding civilian casualties

US Military in Afghanistan reacts to latest UNAMA report regarding civilian casualties”

The US military says there were only Taliban combatants in the facilities, and no civilian casualties were confirmed.

At least 30 civilians were killed when the United States bombed several drug-making facilities in western Afghanistan in May, a UN agency said in a report on Wednesday, though the U.S. military immediately disputed the findings.

The report published on October 9 said that five civilians were also wounded in air strikes on more than 60 sites. which US forces identified as drug-production facilities in the Bakwa and neighboring Delaram districts.

A United Nations delegation that visited the site of the attacks and conducted face-to-face interviews with residents concluded that there were 39 verified casualties - including 14 children - of whom 30 died.

The casualties include at least 30 deaths, the United Nations said.

Workers at the alleged labs "were not performing combat functions", it said, and "were therefore entitled to protection from attack".

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"USFOR-A is fighting in a complex environment against those who intentionally kill and hide behind civilians, as well as use dishonest claims of non-combatant casualties as propaganda weapons", the statement said.

"In addition to imagery collection during the precision strikes, USFOR-A conducted exhaustive assessments of the facilities and surrounding areas after the strikes", it said in a statement.

The US, however, insisted the labs were run and owned by the Taliban, who used revenue to "fund ongoing indiscriminate violence against innocent Afghans". "Combined assessments determined the strikes did not cause deaths or injuries to non-combatants", the statement pointed out.

Assessments conducted by USA forces and Afghans conducted after the strikes on the labs determined there were no deaths or injuries to civilians, the US military said. The agency said it's working to confirm reports of an additional 37 civilian deaths from the airstrikes.

Facilities that help fund parties involved in the 18-year war are considered civilian objectives under global humanitarian law, and thus drug labs and their workers are unlawful targets, the report concluded.

The US and its allies launched a military operation in Afghanistan in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks, which were staged by the al-Qaeda* terror group, backed by then Taliban-led government of Afghanistan.



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