U.S. forces killed at least one child, video footage obtained by Reuters on Wednesday showed, in an air strike in western Afghanistan that Afghan police say killed 12 civilians and U.S. forces said killed 16 militants.
Videos taken in the Gozara district of Herat province in the aftermath of the attack on Monday showed mangled, unrecognisable clumps of flesh – all that remained of several people and dozens of animals killed in a tented nomad encampment. One body that was recognisable was that of a young boy.
“The information we have is 12 civilians, including six women, four men and two children have been killed in the bombardment,” General Ikramuddin Yawar, chief of police in western Afghanistan told Reuters.
More than 2,100 civilians were killed in Afghanistan last year, 40 percent more than 2007, the United Nations said on Tuesday, and a quarter of all civilian casualties, 552 people, died as a result of air strikes by U.S. and NATO-led forces.
International forces in Afghanistan are losing public support “one fallen civilian at a time”, said a report by the Campaign for Innocent Victims of Conflict (CIVIC) on Tuesday.