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US drone blamed for Afghan deaths

US DRONE BLAMED FOR AFGHAN DEATHS

At least two civilians have been killed and two others injured in an explosion blamed on a U.S. drone, according to Afghan officials on Tuesday.

Police spokesman Basir Mujahed told Anadolu Agency the incident took place in the Qarabagh district of Kabul province less than 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the capital on Monday night.

He said some men had fired shots in the air from a garden: "Later, these people were hit by a U.S. drone; two of them have died and two were wounded."

Mujahed said the victims' identities were not known yet.

Abdul Sami Sharifi, governor for Qarabagh district, claimed those killed were civilians making celebratory gunfire for an engagement ceremony.

The U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) have not yet commented on the incident.

This is the fourth such incident in the last two months.

Last week, USFOR-A vowed to investigate an air strike that killed more than 10 civilians in Logar province.

Three days before Logar, a similar air strike on suspected Taliban hideouts in western Herat province killed 13 civilians and 16 militants.

Jailani Farhad, spokesman for the provincial governor, told Anadolu Agency U.S. forces conducted an air raid on Taliban hideouts in the Bakht Aabad area of the restive Shen Dand district.

He said 16 Taliban militants, including two top commanders, were killed and four more wounded in this raid.

Earlier in August, hundreds of Afghans took to the streets in eastern Jalalabad city against the alleged killing of 16 civilians in a similar US air strike.

Local officials in Jalalabad, provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province, admit "some civilians" sustained harm in an attack, but the USFOR-A claim only Daesh militants were targeted in this air raid in the Haska Maina district on Aug. 10.

This reflected an evident surge in air raids on suspected militant hideouts following the announcement of a new U.S. strategy for Afghanistan by U.S. President Donald Trump last month.

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