Gunfire by US troops kills Afghan man and sons in anti-terror op: Local officials

world Updated: Jun 12, 2017 18:43 IST
AFP, Jalalabad
US troops,Afghan civilians killed,US anti-militant operations

US forces and Afghan commandos patrol in Asad Khil village in the Achin district of Jalalabad.(AP File Photo)

An Afghan father and his two young children were killed Monday when US troops opened fire after their convoy hit a roadside bomb, local authorities said.

The civilian and his sons, aged seven and 10, died near their home in the eastern province of Nangarhar, where American forces are conducting joint operations against militants from the Islamic State group.

Claims of civilian casualties remain a contentious issue in the war against insurgents in Afghanistan, as President Donald Trump mulls sending more troops into the lengthy conflict.

“A roadside bomb hit a foreign forces convoy in Ghani Khail district this morning,” said provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani.

“The troops then opened fire and killed three civilians nearby, a father and his two sons.”

The account was confirmed by the district police chief, Sekandar Safi.

The US military confirmed they opened fire in “self defence” but said they had so far not received any official allegations of civilian casualties.

“We take civilian casualties very seriously and all allegations are thoroughly investigated,” the military said in a statement.

“The incident is under investigation and more information will be released as appropriate.”

Nangarhar is a stronghold of Islamic State and Afghan forces backed by US troops have been battling for months to drive them out.

On Saturday, three American soldiers were killed and one wounded when an Afghan commando opened fire on them in Nangarhar’s Achin district, in an insider attack claimed by the Taliban.

In April the US military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on a complex of caves in Achin used by IS fighters.

The deployment of the so-called Mother Of All Bombs killed dozens of jihadists, but fighting in the area has continued unabated.

First Published: Jun 12, 2017 18:41 IST