By RFE RL
(RFE/RL) — Afghan officials say at least 30 civilians have been killed in a U.S. air strike in the southern province of Helmand, a Taliban stronghold.
The NATO-led Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan said Afghan forces and U.S. advisers came under fire from Taliban fighters in a compound in Garmsir district on November 27 and called in an air strike, but the ground forces were not aware of any civilians in or near the compound.
Helmand Governor Mohammad Yasin Khan said Afghan troops had called in an air strike against Taliban fighters in Garmsir, causing both civilian and Taliban casualties.
Khan said 16 Taliban insurgents were killed and that an investigation was under way to determine the number of civilian casualties.
Attahullah Afghan, the head of the provincial council in Helmand, said the air strike killed at least 30 civilians, adding that it struck a house in the area.
Abdul Wadod Popul, a lawmaker from Helmand, also said there had been at least 30 civilian casualties.
The United Nations said last month that the number of civilian casualties from air strikes in the first nine months of the year was already higher than in any entire year since at least 2009.