- Afghan military helicopters reportedly bombed a mosque and religious school on Monday, killing at least 70 people and wounding 30 more.
- TOLAnews reported that 15 Taliban fighters were killed and 15 more wounded and that 50 civilians were killed and 150 more wounded in the strike.
- But many details about the incident are still unclear.
Afghan military helicopters bombed a mosque and religious school on Monday in the northern province of Kunduz, killing at least 70 people and wounding 30 more, according to The New York Times, citing a local official.
Nasruddin Saadi, the governor of Dasht-e-Archi district, told The Times that 1,000 people had gathered for a religious ceremony, where Taliban members were also present.
But an Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman told The Times that the gathering was to plan an attack.
Fifteen Taliban fighters were killed and 15 more were wounded in the strike, according to TOLAnews, but 50 civilians were also killed and 150 more were wounded.
A local farmer who witnessed the strike told The Times that Taliban members were present, but most were children, adding that “a group of youngsters,” one of whom was his nephew, were hit by the initial rockets.
#Kunduz – Dasht-e-Archi residents claim 50 civilians killed and 150 wounded in Monday’s airstrike. However government officials say 15 Taliban insurgents killed and 15 wounded in airstrike that targeted a mass Taliban gathering at a madrassa. pic.twitter.com/u2lZPOE44w
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) April 2, 2018
Many details about the strike are still unclear, but Dasht-i Archi has been largely under the control of Taliban fighters.
A statement from the Taliban said the strike killed 150 religious scholars and civilians. The statement denied that any Taliban forces were present.
Army Col. Lisa Garcia, US Forces-Afghanistan spokesperson, said US forces had not carried out any attacks in the area.
“U.S. Forces-Afghanistan did not conduct air strikes in Kunduz province today. Any claims to the contrary are baseless,” she said in an emailed statement.