Afghani Village Elders Swear on the Quran that all Killed were Innocent

Dispute over deadly US Afghan raid

A claim by US forces in Afghanistan that they killed 15 Taliban fighters in the eastern province of Laghman, has been disputed by village elders.

A US statement said on Saturday that soldiers killed the fighters after coming under fire from opposition fighters.

But the elders say all those who died were civilians.

“The operation in Mehtar Lam District, approximately 60km northeast of Kabul City, targeted a Taliban commander believed to conduct terrorist activities throughout the Kabul, Laghman and Kapisa provinces,” a US military statement said.

“As coalition forces approached the wanted militant’s compound, several groups of armed militants exited their homes and began manoeuvering on the force.”

Nine fighters were killed by small-arms fire and four killed by “precision close-air support”, the statement said, adding that two other fighters were killed during a subsequent serach of the houses in the compound.

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