U.S. drone strike kills 30 pine nut farm workers in Afghanistan
A U.S. drone strike intended to hit an Islamic State (IS) hideout in Afghanistan killed at least 30 civilians resting after a day’s labor in the fields, officials said on Thursday, Trend reports citing Reuters.
The attack on Wednesday night also injured 40 people after accidentally targeting farmers and laborers who had just finished collecting pine nuts at mountainous Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.
“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by telephone from Wazir Tangi.
Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry and a senior U.S official in Kabul confirmed the drone strike, but did not share details of civilian casualties.
“U.S. forces conducted a drone strike against Da’esh (IS) terrorists in Nangarhar,” said Colonel Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts.”