Air Strikes By Security Forces In Western Afghanistan Kill 10 Civilians

Officials in Afghanistan say women and children were among 10 civilians killed in separate air strikes by security forces late on July 19.

In one incident, Abdol Aziz Beg, head of a provincial council in the western Badghis Province, said that insurgents had surrounded an army base in the area and security forces' helicopters were trying to reach the facility.

But Beg said gunmen were shooting from positions in villages nearby, making security forces' return difficult and endangering villagers if Afghan forces fired back.

Three children and two women were among the 10 victims of earlier air strikes that killed 10 and injured two others, Beg said.

Taliban fighters, who reportedly remain in control of around half of the country, were circulating images of dead children on Twitter that they said were killed by the air strikes in Badghis.

Based on reporting by AP