20:34 GMT30 November 2020
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    Moscow demands an investigation into a US airstrike in the Afghan province of Kunduz last week to punish those responsible for the incident that killed more than 30 civilians, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The US-led NATO mission in Afghanistan formally ended its operations in December 2014 after a presence in the country since 2001 to help local authorities defeat the Taliban Islamist movement.

    The Resolute Support mission, focused on training, advising and assisting Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, was launched on January 1, 2015.

    "On November 3, a US aircraft strike during combat operations in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz killed more than 30, most of them women and children, including a three-month-old infant. About 20 Afghan civilians were injured, around 20 homes destroyed," the ministry said.

    It noted that this was "not the first time" that the United States' indiscriminate use of weapons killed civilians, and called the US-led NATO mission's pledge to investigate civilian casualty claims "predictable."

    "We strongly condemn the death of innocent civilians as a result of US Air Force strikes in Kunduz. We demand the immediate objective investigation of the incident and to punish those responsible for the tragedy in order to avoid the recurrence of such egregious cases."

    Afghanistan is in a state of political and social turmoil, with government forces fighting the continuing Taliban insurgency. The instability has persisted in the country since the 2001 US-led invasion to defeat the Taliban and al-Qaeda in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in the United States.

    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 15, 201,5 file photo, U.S. soldiers walk into the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
    © AP Photo / Najim Rahim
    FILE - In this Thursday, Oct. 15, 201,5 file photo, U.S. soldiers walk into the charred remains of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan

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    Tags:
    Operation Resolute Support, NATO, Afghanistan, Kunduz
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