A deadly US-led strike on a wedding party in southern Afghanistan has left at least 36 civilians killed and some 28 others injured.
The Tuesday wedding ceremony came under US-led forces’ aerial bombardment in Wocha Bakhta village some 80 km (50 miles) north of the southern city of Kandahar in Kandahar province.
A local member of parliament told the BBC that as many as 38 people may have died in the air strike. However, Afghan President Hamid Karzai slammed the attack while putting the death toll at 40.
The President “condemned the air strike which killed around 40 and wounded another 28 civilians in Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province,” a statement from his office said, AFP reported.
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Meanwhile, some media reports put the death toll higher, saying that some of the injured are in a serious condition and the death toll may rise even further.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
The US military acknowledged there were casualties in the area and said it was launching an investigation into the incident.
International forces in Afghanistan have come under increased criticism since Afghan and UN officials discovered that a US-led military operation in the village of Azizabad in August killed 90 civilians, including children.
Seven years of western military presence in Afghanistan has led to more insecurity and a sharply upward spiral of civilian lives lost to errant American air strike and suicide bombers. More than 4,700 people have been killed in insurgency-related violence in the country this year.