UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The United Nations mission to Afghanistan announced on Monday it was investigating information on civilian casualties caused by US raids on facilities allegedly used to manufacture drugs in western Afghanistan.
The allegations are centered around raids earlier this month in the states of Farah and Nimroz where dozens of buildings used to manufacture heroin and other drugs are believed to have been destroyed.
According to Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Nusrat Rahimi, “150 Taliban terrorists were killed and 40 wounded” in operations in Farah province.
But the Taliban denied using the facilities to manufacture drugs and said “about 100” civilians were killed in the strikes.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a statement it was “investigating allegations of civilian casualties resulting from air operations carried out by international forces in the states of Farah and Nimroz against facilities believed to be used to manufacture drugs.”
The mission said that “it is difficult to access the sites and several difficulties impede verification” of civilian casualties.
The US-led NATO mission declined to comment.
In a report published last month, UNAMA said the civilian death toll from US and Afghan government-led operations exceeded for the first time the civilian death toll from Taliban and other insurgent attacks.
UNAMA blamed the Taliban for increasing violence in Afghanistan during Ramadan.
Violence continues in Afghanistan despite the start of Ramadan and continued talks between the United States and the Taliban to end the decades-long conflict.
The Taliban adopted an attack on May 8 targeting the headquarters of an American non-governmental organization in Kabul that killed nine people, including civilians and Afghan security personnel.
“There is no justification at all for deliberate and indiscriminate attacks against civilians,” the statement quoted Tadamichi Yamamoto, UN special representative, as saying.
“Implementing an act of excessive and deliberate violence against a development agency where civilians are struggling to improve the lives of all civilians is very outrageous,” Yamamoto said.
A previous Taliban attack early in the holy month of Ramadan killed 13 people and wounded scores after a suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a police headquarters in Bel Khamri, capital of the northern state of Baghlan.
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