An American drone aimed at striking an Islamic State hiding place in Afghanistan has killed at least 30 civilians who were resting after harvesting pine nuts.
Forty people were also injured in Wednesday night's attack, which struck farmers and workers who had just completed their work in mountain Wazir Tangi in eastern Nangarhar province, three Afghan officials told Reuters.
"The workers lit a fire and were sitting together when a drone aimed them," tribal Elder Malik Rahat Gul told Reuters by phone by Wazir Tangi.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense and a senior US official in Kabul confirmed the drone strike but did not share details of civilian casualties.
"US forces carried out a drone strike on Daesh [Isis] terrorists in Nangarhar," said Soni Leggett, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan. "We are aware of the allegations of non-combatants' deaths and are working with local officials to ascertain the facts." of the Taliban.
Haydar Khan, who owns the pine nuts fields, said that about 1
Survivors of a drone strike of about 200 workers sleep in five tents located near the farm when the attack occurs.
"Some of us escaped, others were injured but many were killed," says Juma Gul, a resident of northeast Kunar province, who traveled with workers this week to collect and crunch pine nuts.
Angered residents of Nangarhar province demanded an apology and monetary compensation from the US government.
"Such errors cannot be justified by the IED. US forces need to realize that [they] will never win the war by killing innocent civilians, "says Javed Mansour, who lives in the city of Jalalabad.
Isis fighters first appeared in Afghanistan in 2014 and have since made attacks in the east and north, where they are fighting the government, US forces and the Taliban.
The exact number of Isis fighters is difficult to calculate, as they often switch beliefs, but US military estimates are around 2000.
in attacks by the Taliban and Isis as Afghanistan prepares for this month's presidential election.
In a single incident, at least 20 people died in a suicide truck attack Thursday by the Taliban in southern Zabul province.
Hundreds of civilians were killed in fighting in Afghanistan following the collapse of peace talks between the US and the Taliban this month. The Taliban has warned that Donald Trump will regret his decision to abruptly suspend negotiations that could lead to a political agreement to end the 18-year war.
The United Nations says that nearly 4,000 civilians were killed or injured in the first. half of the year. This included a large increase in casualties caused by the government and US-led foreign forces.