WASHINGTON — The United Nations mission in Afghanistan claims it has credible evidence that at least 10 civilians were killed in a U.S. airstrike, rebuffing earlier U.S. military reports that claimed zero civilian casualties.
The airstrikes in the Chardara district of Kunduz, Afghanistan, occurred Saturday.
The U.N. took to social media claiming it conducted interviews with multiple survivors, medics, elders and others giving strong evidence that at least some civilians were killed in the strike.
The victims were civilians who were forced to retrieve the bodies by anti-government elements from earlier fighting that day, according to the U.N. social media posts.
In a press release from U.S. Forces Afghanistan on Monday, U.S. military officials said “no hospitals or clinics in the local area indicated treatment of people with wounds from armed conflict,” as evidence that no civilians were killed in the strike.
Officials in Kabul have still not responded to a Military Times request for more details on the U.S. investigation into the civilian casualties. Military Times has asked USFOR-A if any U.S. personnel on the ground near the incident aided in the investigation or if the U.S. report is based solely on Afghan government official testimony.
U.S. military officials claimed on Monday that “numerous enemy combatants were killed,” as a result of joint operations in northern Afghanistan.
Afghan commandos have been conducting operations against the Taliban in Chardara district over the past several days with the support of U.S. airpower.
Kunduz has been a difficult city to tame for Afghan and U.S. forces in the region. The city has fallen twice to Taliban militants over the past couple years.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.