WASHINGTON — U.S. military officials on Monday said they found no evidence of civilian casualties as a result of an alleged U.S. airstrike in the Chardara district of Kunduz, Afghanistan.
In a statement, U.S. military officials in Kabul said they have “investigated allegations of civilian casualties in Kunduz province during the period of November 3 and 4; no evidence of civilian casualties has been found.”
Over the weekend, local Afghan officials reported dozens of civilians were killed in a U.S. airstrike. Afghan commandos have been conducting operations in the region for the past several days.
The incident was alleged to have occurred between Friday and Saturday. U.S. officials did confirm that “operations occurred in this area and numerous enemy combatants were killed.”
U.S. Forces-Afghanistan in its statement Monday claimed there were no casualties and “no hospitals or clinics in the local area indicated treatment of people with wounds from armed conflict.”
The Taliban claimed a U.S. B-52 was behind the deaths of Afghan civilians in the region.
However, Ahmad Jawid Salim, a spokesperson for the commandos, pushed back on those claims with several social media posts, denying that any civilians had been harmed as a result of operations in the region.
USFOR-A said it conducted an independent investigation. Military Times has reached out to U.S. officials in Kabul seeking clarification on whether any U.S. personnel were actually on the ground at the scene of the incident or if the report is solely based on accounts from Afghan officials. Military Times has yet to receive a response.
“USFOR-A takes all allegations of civilian casualties seriously and does its utmost to safeguard civilians and the people of Afghanistan, who only wish for peace and lasting security,” officials said in a statement.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.