Afghan military bombs religious seminary, scores killed
While Afghan officials say air raid hit militants, Taliban and local media outlet say over 100 civilians have been killed
By Shadi Khan Saif
Afghan air force bombed a religious seminary in northern Kunduz province on Monday, killing scores of suspected militants and civilians, according to officials and local media.
In a statement, the military said an alleged gathering of the Taliban’s “Quetta Shura” -- one of the Taliban's main Pakistan-based committee -- had been hit during an air raid this morning in the province’s Dasht-e-Archi district.
“In the air raids by the Afghan Air Force at around 11 a.m. [0630 GMT], 15 Taliban terrorists, including member of the Quetta Shura, Mawlawi Baryal, were killed and 10 others wounded,” the statement said.
Ashna Radio, a local media outlet, however disputed the army claim and quoted locals as saying that over 100 civilians had been killed in the aerial raid on a religious seminary that was adjacent to a mosque.
Regional police chief Gen. Hameedullah Hamidi rejected claims about civilian casualties.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, he insisted that Taliban militants, including Tajiks had been hit in this raid.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed tweeted that at least 150 people, including religious scholars and children had been killed in the raid on a religious gathering in Darul Uloom Hashimya.
Backed by American military’s airpower, the Afghan forces have launched extensive military campaign against the Taliban who have so far not responded to the landmark peace offer extended by President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani in February.
Kunduz remains one of the strongest bastions for the Taliban. Provincial capital of the province twice briefly fell to the Taliban in the past three years.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.