Drone strike kills 14 in Afghanistan

Published: October 15, 2017
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Security officials stand guard on a highway near the area where a US drone strike is reported to have taken place. PHOTO: ONLINE

Security officials stand guard on a highway near the area where a US drone strike is reported to have taken place. PHOTO: ONLINE

Afghan officials say that a US drone strike has killed 14 ISIS militants in the Kuner province of eastern Afghanistan.

The strike happened on Thursday afternoon.

“The drone had targeted a meeting of ISIS commanders who were planning a terrorist attack,” spokesperson for the provincial governor, Abdul Ghani Musamim, told the Associated Press.

The government of Afghanistan has no formal control over the part of the country where IS’s Afghan affiliate has been able to establish its presence.

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The US-led forces were not immediately available for comment, though Dawlat Waziri, spokesperson Afghanistan’s defence ministry, has confirmed the drone strike.

Conflicting reports are coming out of the country, however, as the Kuner province’s MP Shahzada Shaheed said that the victims of the drone strikes were not militants, but actually innocent civilians.

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Drone strikes have intensified under the new Trump administration, as the US looks to target IS strongholds in the country with air strikes and operations on the ground.

According to US officials, there are about 600-800 IS fighters in Afghanistan, most of them based in Nangarhar.

The US forces are also helping Afghan forces fight a Taliban insurgency in large swathes of the country.

This article originally appeared in The Guardian.

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