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Iran Press TV

US drone strike kills 13 in eastern Afghanistan

Iran Press TV

Sun May 10, 2015 9:53AM

At least 13 people have been killed in the latest drone strike carried out by the United States in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar, Press TV reports.

Brigadier General Fazl Ahmad Sherzad, the provincial police chief, said on Sunday that the airborne attack targeted a militant hideout in the province, without specifying where exactly it was carried out.

He claimed those killed in the airstrike were members of the Taliban militant group, which has not yet made any comments on the incident.

Meanwhile, Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, a spokesman for the Nangarhar provincial police department, said the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) conducted the assault in Lal Pur district on Saturday. He claimed that a local Taliban commander, known by his nom de guerre Gul Agha, was among the slain militants.

A similar attack in the Goshta district of the same province killed at least four people on May 7. At least seven people lost their lives in another drone strike in the Khas Kunar district of Kunar Province, northeastern Afghanistan, earlier in the day.

A May 4 drone attack in the Momand Dara district of Nangarhar left at least seventeen people dead, reportedly including a local Taliban commander.

The United States carries out targeted killings through drone strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

While Washington claims the targets of the attacks are al-Qaeda militants, local officials and witnesses maintain that, in most cases, civilians have been the victims of the attacks over the past few years.

Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington's so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still witnessing violence, which threatens stability.

At least 13,500 foreign forces remain in Afghanistan despite the end of the US-led combat mission, which came on December 31, 2014. The forces, mainly from the US, are there for what Washington calls a support mission. US-led NATO says the forces will focus mainly on counter terrorism operations and training Afghan soldiers and policemen.


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