Afghan group investigates reports of 20 civilians killed in Khost

Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan human rights groups are investigating a shooting on Monday that CIA-trained Afghan troops killed 20 civilians during an anti-Taliban operation in eastern Khost. Stated.

Development comes as Washington seeks to reduce violence between the Taliban and Afghan government forces.

The report first surfaced on Sunday. Residents of the state’s Sabelli district said pro-government forces, so-called intelligence special forces, had killed several civilians, including women and children. The Afghanistan Commission on Human Rights said it has begun an investigation.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid circulated photos of alleged victims and called on them to stop such attacks if the government sought to reduce violence.

A video shot by a alleged resident of Saberi and disseminated on social media shows that an old man carrying a child’s lifeless body claims that some of his family have been killed. He says the Taliban were not killed in the operation.

CIA-trained Afghan special forces have been accused of repeated attacks on civilians in the past, with Human Rights Watch due to their often laborious tactics that have killed civilians. Called by the United Nations. They operate seemingly exempt under the Afghan intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security, and have confusing names such as Unit 01 and Khost Protection Forces. HRW and several UN reports say it is partially responsible for the increase in civilian deaths and infringement.

Zabihullah Farhang, a spokesman for the Afghan Commission, said Monday that documenting such allegations would likely take some time. This is the first process of investigation. “Our workers … even visit the graveyard,” Farhang said.

Khost Governor Mahmand Katawaji confirmed that Afghan military operations in Saveri were underway, but denied that civilian casualties had occurred and accused the Taliban of firing instead. He said four members of the security force were injured, after which Afghan troops killed several Taliban fighters.

“Not all videos and photos that claim to be civilians are true,” Katawaji claimed.

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