At least nine civilians were killed and 11 others were wounded in a government airstrike in Balkh district of northern Balkh province on Monday night, residents said on Tuesday.
The bodies of the victims were carried to the district center by residents, who asked the government for “investigations over the incident.”
“There is also a family that lost two members in the airstrike,” said Ghulam Sakhi, a resident of Balkh.
Abdul Ghafar, another resident said: “Who will listen to our voices-- we must tell (President Ghani) Ashraf Ghani or Abdullah Abdullah.”
The military officials in the north of Afghanistan said that in the past 24 hours two airstrikes were launched in Balkh and Chahar Bolak districts of the province and “all of the victims are Taliban.”
“17 Taliban were killed and 13 others were wounded in an airstrike in Balkh district while the Taliban were digging the road to attack Afghan forces," said Mohammad Hanif Rezaee, a spokesman for the 209 Shaheen Military Corps.
“Three of them (Taliban) who were wounded in the attack have been arrested... in the Pul-e-Imam area of Dehdadi district,” he said.
No civilians were hurt in the attack, officials added.
Also, Munir Farhad, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said that the "Taliban was using civilians to destroy some part of Balkh-Jawzjan highway, which was then targeted by an airstrike.”
"“Six Taliban and three civilians were killed and the Taliban forced people to destroy the road,” he said.
In the meantime, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said that at least 17 Taliban were killed and 13 were wounded in an airstrike in Balkh district.
The Taliban were planting mines along the road, MoD said, adding that “the Taliban were preparing to attack Afghan forces.”
The Taliban also said that civilians were killed in the attack.