The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Afghan civilians reportedly killed in US drone strike on Taliban splinter commander Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Afghan civilians reportedly killed in US drone strike on Taliban splinter commander

July 2019 saw an unprecedented number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 January, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
A US drone strike that killed a Taliban splinter-group commander in Herat is thought to have also caused casualties among civilians.
A US air strike killed a Taliban splinter-group commander and several other fighters in the western Afghan province of Herat, Afghan and military sources said Thursday.

Reports from local officials allege that scores of civilians, including women and children, were killed and wounded in the strike which occurred on Wednesday, however these reports have not yet been verified.

"According to the people, over 60 civilians were killed and wounded in the operation," Toryalai Tahiri, deputy head of Herat provincial council, told local media outlet TOLO News.

The number of civilians who died has not been confirmed, however the Afghan government said it had launched an investigation into reports of civilian casualties.

The commander, named as Mullah Nangyalay, was killed in Shindand district, close to the border with Iran, said Herat provincial governor's spokesman Jailani Farhad.

In-depth: Surviving Kunduz: Crime and violence swamp neglected Afghan city once hailed as model of governance

Nangyalay split from the main branch of the Taliban after the 2013 death of founder Mullah Omar and joined a smaller breakaway faction led by a commander known as Mullah Rasool.

Splinter Taliban commander Mullah Rasool [Getty]

A senior provincial police source said the air strike had been carried out by a US drone. 

A spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan confirmed they had launched "a defensive air strike in support of Afghan forces".  

The main Taliban group has been negotiating with Washington for more than a year over the withdrawal of US troops in exchange for security guarantees from the militants that could pave the way to intra-Afghan peace talks.

Afghanistan saw an unprecedented spike in civilian casualties between July and September 2019, with July being the bloodiest month on record, according to UN figures.

The main cause of civilians deaths has been ongoing fighting between pro- and anti-government factions, with tensions escalating over presidential elections that took place in September.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram to stay connected 

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More