Dozens of Afghani civilians were killed and dozens more injured after an American drone strike accidentally struck a group of farmers in eastern Afghanistan.
A US drone aircraft which had been targeting an ISIS position in the eastern Nangarhar province inadvertently struck a group of farm workers collecting pine nuts in Wazir Tangi, Reuters reported.
The incident occurred late Wednesday night, three local officials told Reuters.
At least 30 people were killed and more than 40 others injured in the strike. Locals say about 150 workers were at the scene of the attack for the harvest, and that a number of people remain unaccounted for.
One tribal elder said the workers had been hit by the drone shortly after they lit a bonfire.
“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” Malik Rahat said.
A US military spokesman in Afghanistan, Colonel Sonny Leggett, confirmed that the US had launched the drone strike against ISIS terrorists, but did not confirm the civilian deaths, acknowledging only that there were “allegations” of non-combatant deaths.
“U.S. forces conducted a drone strike against Da’esh [ISIS] terrorists in Nangarhar,” said Colonel Leggett. “We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts.”