At least 16 civilians, including women and children, were killed in airstrikes by foreign forces in Zerkoh district in Herat late Monday afternoon, residents said Tuesday.
The attack also left seven more wounded, residents said.
“The planes dropped bombs on the Taliban base and then a group of Taliban took shelter inside the houses of the people; at that time, the residents evacuated their homes and took refuge in nearby areas and then the planes dropped bombs on a group of women and children,” said one Zerkoh resident, Momin Shah.
Survivors said that foreign forces launched the airstrike on Monday afternoon in the area and several homes were hit in the raid.
Provincial officials in Herat also confirmed the airstrikes but said a fact finding team has been assigned by the national security council to probe the incident.
“About sixteen Taliban fighters were killed and four others wounded as a result of the attacks; nineteen people also managed to escape from a Taliban prison in the area, however thirteen civilians were also killed in the raid,” said Jailani Farhad, the governor’s spokesman.
NATO’s Resolute Support mission has not yet commented on the incident.
Reports from Herat say that at least four of those wounded in the air raid have been transferred to Herat Zonal Hospital.
Residents claimed that three foreign aircraft bombed their village.
Officials at Herat Zonal Hospital said that several civilians died from their wounds in hospital.
“Two wounded children and two women were brought here, but a six-year-old boy lost his life due to serious wounds,” said Mohammad Rafiq Sherzai, the hospital’s spokesman.
Herat provincial council has meanwhile called on government to launch an investigation into the incident.
“Daesh and Taliban kill our people every day, but now foreign forces are also killing our countrymen and this action cannot be justified; the president and the government must tackle the issue,” said Sayed Azim Kibarzani, a member of Herat provincial council.