UN says US strikes cause civilian casualties in Afghanistan

In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, photo, Zakhiwal's uncle, Mohammad Yaqoob Malikzada shows pictures of four brothers in the back of his car, who ware killed during a raid by the Afghan soldiers trained by CIA only known as Unit 02 after an interview to the Associated Press in Jalalabad city east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Anger is mounting over the increasing numbers of civilians dying in misdirected US aerial strikes and heavy- handed tactics of CIA-trained Afghan force. Some Afghans calling for Americans to be tried in Afghan courts. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
In this Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019, photo, Aziz Rahman, second, right, a village elder, who had contracted the farmers to harvest the pine nuts, speaks during an interview to the Associated Press in Jalalabad city east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Anger is mounting over the increasing numbers of civilians dying in misdirected US aerial strikes and heavy- handed tactics of CIA-trained Afghan force. Some Afghans calling for Americans to be tried in Afghan courts (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

KABUL, Afghanistan — 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 neighboring 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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