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Wedding guests killed in Afghan army raid

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:57s - Published
Wedding guests killed in Afghan army raid

Wedding guests killed in Afghan army raid

At least 35 people attending an Afghan wedding have been killed in a raid by the Afghan army on a nearby militant hideout on Sunday evening.

David Doyle reports.

At least 35 people attending an Afghan wedding have been killed by the crossfire of a government raid on a nearby militant hideout.

That's according to two officials in Helmand province, and it's the second major civilian disaster involving the Afghan and U.S. campaign against militant groups in less than a week.

The wedding guests were killed by explosions and gunfire.

Authorities say the raid was on a training facility for Taliban suicide bombers.

This man, whose family members were among the injured, says a plane arrived at 10 p.m.

And starting bombarding the wedding ceremony.

The Taliban said Afghan troops backed by U.S. forces had carried out a night airstrike followed by ground clashes, and that 18 Afghan soldiers had died.

Afghanistan's defense ministry said 22 Taliban members were killed and 14 others arrested.

The latest bloodshed follows a U.S. drone strike on Wednesday (Thursday 18) in which at least 32 civilians, resting after a day of harvesting pine nuts, were killed.

It included children.

The strike in Nangarhar province was intended to hit Islamic State fighters.

(SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) RESIDENT OF THE AREA, EZATULLAH, SAYING: "Don't the Americans see that these people are working and gathering pine nuts?

Why do they attack workers?" Senior Afghan officials said a probe was being conducted to assess intelligence failings before planning the strike.

Bombings, air strikes, and ground clashes between U.S.-backed Afghan forces and hardline Islamist groups have intensified since U.S.-Taliban peace talks collapsed earlier this month, and the Taliban has also been carrying out near daily attacks in a bid to disrupt Saturday's (September 28) presidential election.

More than nine million Afghans are expected to head to the polls, and the government has committed more than 70,000 security forces across the country.




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