US Drone Strike Kills 30 Pine Nut Workers in Afghanistan
Forty were also injured in the Wednesday [18 Sep] attack which struck farmers and labourers who just finished work, Afghan officials say.
19 Sep 2019 – A US drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State hideout in Afghanistan has killed at least 30 civilians who were resting after harvesting pine nuts.
Forty people were also injured in the attack on Wednesday night which struck farmers and labourers who had just finished their day’s work at the mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.
“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.
Afghanistan’s defence ministry and a senior US official in Kabul confirmed the drone strike, but did not share details of civilian casualties.
“US forces conducted a drone strike against Da’esh [Isis] terrorists in Nangarhar,” said Col Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan. “We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts.”
About 14,000 US troops are in Afghanistan, training and advising Afghan security forces and conducting counter-insurgency operations against Isis and the Taliban movement.
Haidar Khan, who owns the pine nut fields, said about 150 workers were there for harvesting, with some still missing as well as the confirmed dead and injured.
A survivor of the drone strike said about 200 labourers were sleeping in five tents pitched near the farm when the attack happened.
“Some of us managed to escape, some were injured but many were killed,” said Juma Gul, a resident of north-eastern Kunar province who had travelled along with labourers to harvest and shell pine nuts this week.
Angry residents of Nangarhar province demanded an apology and monetary compensation from the US government.
“Such mistakes cannot be justified. American forces must realise [they] will never win the war by killing innocent civilians,” said Javed Mansur, who lives in Jalalabad city.
Isis fighters first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made inroads in the east and north where they are battling the government, US forces and the Taliban.
There has been no let-up in assaults by Taliban and Isis as Afghanistan prepares for a presidential election this month.
In a separate incident, at least 20 people died in a suicide truck bomb attack on Thursday carried out by the Taliban in the southern province of Zabul.
Hundreds of civilians have been killed in fighting across Afghanistan after the collapse of US-Taliban peace talks this month. The Taliban has warned Donald Trump will regret his decision to abruptly call off talks that could have led to a political settlement to end the 18-year-old war.
The United Nations says nearly 4,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of the year. That included a big increase in casualties inflicted by government and US-led foreign forces.
Tags: Afghanistan, CIA, Central Asia, Conflict, European Union, Geopolitics, Hegemony, Human Rights, Imperialism, Indigenous Rights, International Relations, Justice, MATW, Military, NATO, Occupation, Pentagon, Politics, Power, Racism, Religion, Social justice, State Terrorism, Taliban, UN, USA, Violence, War, War on Terror, West, World
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
- Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Thousands Stranded in Bay of Bengal ‘Unable to Come Ashore'
- Can a Virus Undermine Human Rights?
- Ending the Unthinkable Injustice of Human Chaining
- Trump Breaks off Ties with the World Health Organization
- Freedom vs. License
- What Kind of Country Do We Want?
- The Hawaii Navy Base Fueling Trump's Quest for 'Super Duper' Missiles
- Duterte Does the Right Thing for a Change
- Coronavirus Emergency: Here's What We Know So Far
- Nepal: Inaugural Issue of “Social Inquiry” Published
- Afghan Children: Work of Necessity, Work of Choice
- Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires