Sunday, 22 September 2019 12:19 GMT
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Several civilians killed in fighting with IS in eastern Afghanistan




(MENAFN - Gulf Times) During a battle with Islamic State fighters in Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province a number of civilians were killed, a statement by governor's office of the province of Nangarhar said on Sunday.


The statement, which was shared on messaging app Viber, does not clarify how many civilians were killed, but says that five women and three children were injured in the incident that took place in the district of Haska Mina on Sunday morning.

Pajhwok news agency on the other hand said eight civilians were killed. In its report it says a drone strike hit a funeral that was also attended by Islamic State fighters.

The governor's office, however, said that Afghan security forces were conducting an operation in the area when they were attacked by Islamic State militants who had taken positions inside civilians' houses.

Ground troops and the air force responded killing 25 Islamic State militants as well as the civilians.

The statement does not clarify if the air strikes were conducted by the Afghan or US air force, which has been very active in Nangarhar in recent months targeting Islamic State.

US forces spokesman Bill Salvin confirmed that the US had made a strike in Nangarhar on Sunday, but denied harming civilians saying that "we have no indications that civilians were in the area before the strike or after the strike."

A total of 16 Afghan troops were killed in an accidental US airstrike in Afghanistan's southern Helmand province on Friday.

Both Afghan and US forces have ramped up airstrikes against Taliban and Islamic State militants throughout the war-torn country.

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Several civilians killed in fighting with IS in eastern Afghanistan

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