Afghan officials on Wednesday said at least 30 civilians were killed along with 16 Taliban fighters during an overnight battle between Afghan government forces and insurgents in southern Helmand province.
A local official, Attahullah Afghan, said most of the civilian casualties – which included men, women and children – came when an airstrike struck a house in the central Helmand River valley, a Taliban heartland. US officials said it happened in Helmand’s Garmsir district.
Abdul Wadod Popul, a lawmaker from Helmand, also confirmed the civilian casualties. “The area is under Taliban’s control and is very difficult to get a precise number of casualties,” he said in Kabul.