09:21 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Plume of smoke rising from an April 13, 2017 GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb strike in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan.

    Death Toll in Airstrike on Taliban Militants in Afghanistan Rises to 23 - UN

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The civilian death toll in pro-government forces’ airstrike on the Taliban* militants in the southern Afghan province of Helmand has climbed to 23, with three more injured, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

    The airstrike took place on Tuesday. Earlier, media reported that it claimed lives of 16 civilians and the same number of Taliban members. According to UNAMA, the airstrike was carried out by international military forces during a joint operation with Afghan counterparts.

    READ MORE: Some 32 People Killed in Anti-Taliban Airstrikes in South Afghanistan — Reports

    "Preliminary findings from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) indicate that as many as 23 civilians were killed and three injured Tuesday in an airstrike in Garmser district of Helmand province during operations conducted by pro-government forces against Taliban in the area," UNAMA said late on Thursday.

    Mostly women and children are supposed to be among the victims, the UN mission noted.

    Noting "a sharp increase in civilian casualties from aerial attacks" in the first nine months of the year, UNAMA called on all conflicting sides to "strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law to take all feasible measures to protect civilians."

    Earlier, at least 16 civilians and 16 Taliban militants were killed in airstrikes carried out by foreign forces in Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand.

    Meanwhile, the Afghanistan government is striving to achieve peace in the country and has been in negotiations over a ceasefire with the Taliban movement that was supposed to be prolonged till 19 November.

    *Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia


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