Nearly half a year ago, the United States had air raided suspected drug laboratories in western Afghanistan. The Uno mission in Afghanistan (Unama) had subsequently initiated an investigation. A report by Unama and the UN Human Rights Council is now taking stock.
The attacks in early May saw 30 civilians killed and five others injured in more than 60 villages in the Bakwa and Delaram districts of Farah province. In four other cases, they are still trying to clarify the state of health, it said in the report. Of the 39 victims, 17 are said to have worked in drug laboratories.
The UN Mission is also working to review "reliable and credible reports" on at least 37 other civilian casualties. The majority of these 30 deaths and seven injured are said to have been women and children.
USA disagree: "No non-combatants" killed or injured
The US views economically significant locations that contribute to war effort as legitimate military targets. Nonetheless, the report concludes that drug laboratories and those working there "are not lawfully targeted for protection and should be protected".
The US forces in Afghanistan disagreed with the UN findings. The "precise" bombing had targeted targeted drug production facilities, said the US command in Afghanistan. "Comprehensive evaluations" subsequently revealed that "no non-combatants" had been killed or injured.
The Taliban are largely controlling drug production in Afghanistan. The US Army regularly visits metamphetamine laboratories of the radical Islamic militia.
According to Unama, women and children carry the greatest burden of war. More than 46,000 civilians died between January 2009 and June 2019. After a terrorist attack in Afghanistan in early September, US President Donald Trump suspended US negotiations with the Taliban.