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UN says US strikes cause civilian casualties in Afghanistan

Last Updated Oct 9, 2019 at 5:33 am EDT

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2015, file photo, an employee of Doctors Without Borders walks inside the charred remains of the organization's hospital after it was hit by a U.S. airstrike in Kunduz, Afghanistan. About 16 U.S. military personnel, including a two-star general, have been disciplined for mistakes that led to the bombing of the civilian hospital in Afghanistan last year that killed 42 people, a senior U.S. official said Thursday, April 28, 2016. According to officials, no criminal charges were filed and the service members received administrative punishments in connection with the U.S. air strike in the northern city of Kunduz. (AP Photo/Najim Rahim, File)

A special U.N. report has criticized American airstrikes earlier this year against alleged drug facilities in Afghanistan, saying the attacks were unlawful and caused significant civilian casualties.

The report was released on Wednesday in both Kabul and Geneva.

It says the U.N. verified 39 civilian casualties, among them 14 children and a woman, from multiple airstrikes on more than 60 sites the U.S. and Afghan forces identified as drug-production facilities in Bakwa district in western Farah province and in neighbouring Delaram district in Nimroz province.

The U.S. military disputes the U.N. findings, criticizing the report’s verification methods and denying there were civilians among the dead.

But the U.N. says it visited the site with Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission. It says it is also looking at another possible 37 civilian casualties.

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