US killer drone strike leaves 5 dead in eastern Afghanistan
At least five people have been killed in a US terror drone strike in the eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar, officials say.
The aerial offensive occurred on Saturday afternoon and killed both civilians and anti-government militants, officials in Nangarhar said on Saturday.
US military officials maintain their drone attacks in Afghanistan aim to target armed groups active there but field reports say civilians make up the majority of the victims.
Meanwhile, Afghan officials said that 13 militants of the Taliban terrorist group were killed in clashes with government forces in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.
“At least 13 Taliban militants including three foreign nationals have been killed in Tirgaran area over the past two days,” China’s official Xinhua news agency quoted Colonel Sakhi Dad Haidari, a deputy provincial police chief, as saying on Saturday, adding that the government forces have been fighting tooth and nail to evict Taliban militants from the area.
The incident happened when the Afghan forces repelled an attack launched by militants to take control of the strategically important Tirgaran valley in the rugged Warduj district of the province
In another incident, a bomb, detonated by anti-government militants, injured eight people in Takhar provincial capital, Taluqan.
“Terrorists planted an explosive device on the cavities of a motorbike and detonated it next to an office of police in Taluqan city,” said Abdul Khalil Asir, spokesman of the northern Takhar province.
Earlier in the day, another explosion of a militant-planted roadside bomb wounded four people in the eastern Nangarhar provincial capital, Jalalabad.
On Friday, Mohammad Ismail Qasimyar of the High Peace Council, the body charged with negotiating a settlement with the militants, said the second round of official talks between the representatives of the Kabul government and the Taliban will take place on July 30 in China.
The first round of official face-to-face talks took place in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, on July 7, supervised by American and Chinese representatives.
Afghanistan faces a security challenge years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror.
The offensive removed Taliban from power, but many areas in the country are still beset with insecurity.