Operation backed by US forces would be against a hideout of Islamic militants; party guests died in explosions and gunfire
09/23/2019 – 17:22
At least 40 civilians attending a wedding were killed by explosions and gunfire during an operation of US-backed Afghan government forces against a hiding place of Islamic militants nearby, Helmand province officials said on Monday.
LEARN MORE: Why the war in Afghanistan has become the longest ever fought by the US
The action, carried out days after a US drone attack aimed at hidden militants among farmers killing 32 nut gatherers, showed how civilians have been the most victimized by a war that has escalated since US-peace talks. Taliban failed this month.
Afghan officials said a house used by the Taliban to train suicide bombers was located next to the bride's house that was fired during a command attack in the Musa Qala area of Helmand, Afghanistan, on Sunday night.
Carry bodies in the middle of wedding decoration
On Monday, Mohammad Salim, a 30-year-old resident of Musa Qala, carried bodies of cousins and relatives from a house decorated for his sister-in-law's wedding to a cemetery.
Salim and two senior provincial government officials said 40 people, including 12 children, had died at the wedding venue when Afghan forces attacked the house used by Taliban and Al Qaeda militants to train suicide bombers and women.
"We were going to the bride's house for the henna ceremony, some of us were outside the house and some inside, (when) the battle suddenly started … we told security forces that we weren't Taliban members" , Salim told Reuters.
Copyright © Thomson Reuters.
. (tagsToTranslate) afghanistan (t) marriage (t) marriage deaths