U.S.-Backed Forces Kill 30 Afghan Civilians; Taliban Truck Bomb Kills 20

HeadlineSep 19, 2019

In Afghanistan, in the lead-up to national elections later this month, at least 30 civilians were killed and 40 wounded late Wednesday after U.S.-backed Afghan security forces launched an air raid on farmers in eastern Nangarhar province. A local official said a drone attack was aimed at a hideout used by Islamic State fighters but instead killed farmworkers who’d finished a hard day’s labor harvesting pine nuts. Elsewhere, the Taliban has claimed responsibility for a truck bomb explosion in the southern city of Qalat that killed at least 20 people and wounded 97 others. A local official said the blast ripped through a gate to a hospital, but the target was likely a nearby training base for Afghanistan’s powerful security agency. Elsewhere, in eastern Afghanistan, a suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a government building in Jalalabad, injuring at least nine people at a distribution center for national identity cards, which voters will need to cast ballots in the September 28 election. This follows a pair of attacks on Tuesday that killed 48 people and wounded dozens of others. The Taliban promised to step up attacks after President Trump abruptly canceled peace talks on September 7, declaring the negotiations “dead.”

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