Up to 100 Afghan civilians may have been killed during an air raid by US forces during a joint operation targeting suspected fighters, a regional administrator says. Rohul Amin, the governor of Farah province, said on Wednesday that he feared that 100 civilians had been killed in the Bala Baluk district, about 600km west of Kabul, the capital. Amin said that Taliban fighters were reportedly using civilian homes to take shelter during the fighting. If the claims are verified, the deaths in Farah would be the largest loss of civilian life in a single incident since US-led forces invaded Afghanistan in 2001.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, US secretary of state, said that the Obama administration “deeply, deeply” regrets the loss of innocent life apparently caused by the US bombing in Afghanistan. Clinton also said that any loss of innocent life is “particularly painful.” Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president, thanked Clinton for “showing concern and regret” and said he hoped they would work together completely to reduce civilian casualties in the struggle against terrorism.’
Jessica Barry, a spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), said that the organisation sent a team to the region after concerned tribal leaders had contacted them seeking help. “When [our team] went to the first two villages where these incidents took place they saw dozens of bodies. They saw graves and they saw people being buried,” she told Al Jazeera. Barry said that an ICRC community-based first aid volunteer and his extended family, including his five daughters and three sons, were among the dead.