UN: Air Strike In Afghanistan Killed As Many As 23 Civilians

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says as many as 23 civilians were killed in an air strike in the country's south this week, according to its preliminary findings.

The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said Afghan forces and U.S. advisers came under fire from Taliban fighters in a compound in the Garmsir district on November 27 and called in an air strike, but the ground forces were not aware of any civilians in or near the compound.

Local officials in Garmsir said the air strike struck a house in the area, killing at least 30 civilians.

Helmand Governor Mohammad Yasin Khan said Afghan forces had called in an air strike against Taliban fighters, causing both civilian and Taliban casualties.

But UNAMA said in a statement on November 29 that the "vast majority of the victims were women and children."

UNAMA added that it was working to verify information, indicating that another 10 children and eight women were also killed in the air strike.

The UN said last month that the number of civilian casualties from air strikes in the first nine months of the year was already higher than in any entire year since at least 2009.