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World

Ghani apologizes after Afghan air strike kills 30 children

Wednesday 16/May/2018 - 04:49 PM
Sada El Balad
ُEdited by Sada Elbalad
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani apologized Wednesday to the families of civilians، mainly children، killed when the country's air force sprayed an outdoor religious gathering with rockets and machine gun fire last month according to The Daily Star.

The April 2 airstrike on a ceremony attended by hundreds of men and boys in Dasht-e-Archi district - a Taliban stronghold in the northern province of Kunduz - left at least 36 people dead including 30 children، a United Nations investigation has shown.

Seventy-one people were wounded، including 51 children، it said، adding that it had "credible information" the tolls could be even higher.

Originally the government and military had said the Afghan Air Force targeted a Taliban base where senior members of the group were planning attacks.

The defense ministry initially denied any civilians had been hurt، then claimed the Taliban had shot them.

Wednesday Ghani met families as well as local elders and apologized، a statement from the presidential palace said.

"[T]he difference between evildoers and a legitimate government is that a legitimate government apologizes for the mistakes made،" he said، according to the statement.

He also vowed that the government would pay compensation to the families، and build a minaret in memory of the victims as well as a mosque for the region. The statement gave no further details.

The U.N. investigators could not confirm if the casualties were all civilians or whether Taliban leaders had been present at the time of the air strike. They have called for further investigations.

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