An airstrike killed 11 people, including four Taliban militants, in the Seyahgerd district of the Parwan province, according to a top Afghan official.
“A U.S. unmanned aircraft bombed posts of Taliban militants in Seyahgerd district after they had clashed with national security forces on Wednesday afternoon and killed 11 people including a Taliban shadow judge for the district,” Parwan province governor Basir Salangi told The Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
Salangi added that five people out of the eleven were reportedly civilians.
Residents and family members of victims, taking the bodies, marched toward the district center and asked for justice on Thursday.
An Afghan official, on condition of anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency that all the five killed civilians were children.
“Early reports suggest that Taliban had forced children to carry ammunition for the militants as the fight with Afghan forces was going on, when the drone bombed the area,” he added.
Afghan government and international security forces have been accusing Taliban militants of using civilians as shields and forcing children to carry out suicide bomb attacks.
According to Salangi, another four Taliban militants were similarly killed on Wednesday in the Shinwar district of Parwan province.
The province of Parwan has been the focus of Taliban and al-Qaeda militant’s activities as the U.S. military’s biggest base in Afghanistan, Bagram Airfield, is located there.
Federations of Afghanistan’s Civil Society (FACS) condemned the killing of the children in Seyahgerd.
“This is not the first and may not be the last crimes by US-NATO forces, but since October 2001, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians of Afghanistan have been killed, injured and displaced and several houses and villages have been destroyed,” said the federation in a statement.
Drone strikes have been a controversial issue between the United States and current as well as former Afghan governments.
The U.S. maintains that the drone strikes targets militants in a precise manner. But a recent investigative report issued by the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism says hundreds of civilians have been killed by unmanned predator strikes targeting 16 al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders.