UNAMA Report: 30 Civilians Killed In US Airstrike In Farah In May

Elias Hubbard
October 9, 2019

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released a report on Wednesday claiming that at least 30 civilians were killed and 9 were wounded in a USA airstrike in Farah province on May 5.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) conducted an investigation over four months looking into what happened May 5 when the U.S. military bombed dozens of sites it had identified as Taliban methamphetamine labs.

"Although airstrikes on alleged drug-processing facilities had taken place before, this was the first time that UNAMA had received reports of a large number of civilian casualties resulting from such an operation", it said.

Investigators verified 30 civilians killed and nine injured, including 14 children, but said they were investigating "reliable and credible information" another 30 civilians were also killed, the United Nations said.

"UNAMA has assessed that the personnel working inside the drug production facilities were not performing combat functions".

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, however, insisted the labs were run and owned by the Taliban, who used revenue to "fund ongoing indiscriminate violence against innocent Afghans".

Afghanistan's security forces and US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces have been heavily criticised for inflicting civilian casualties during their raids and air attacks. US and Afghan officials were looking into reports that 40 civilians, including children, were killed in an airstrike that hit a wedding celebration in southern Helmand province.

It said 1,366 civilians were killed and another 2,446 wounded in the six months to June 30.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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