KABUL – Two employees of an Afghan aid group were killed when their office was allegedly bombed in a United States air strike in western Afghanistan, officials told EFE on Friday.
The bombing, which took place shortly after Thursday midnight in the Shaib-Koh district in Farah province, completely destroyed the office of the non-profit Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance, according to Ahmad Shah, the district governor.
Shah said the US warplane plane was targeting a Taliban base located near the aid group’s office, but apparently, the bomber missed the target.
The governor told EFE that insurgent commander Mullah Abdul Salam, who was hiding inside the militant base, was the target, “but due to lack of coordination (the fighter) hit the building of the NGO” that provides humanitarian assistance to the vulnerable in the war-torn country.
He said two employees of the non-profit, who were in the office at the time of the bombing, were killed.
CHA Managing Director Ghulam Yahya Abbasy confirmed the to EFE the incident and the death of two of his colleagues, saying “the strike was carried out by the American forces and they bombed only our office, no other target was hit in the area.”
The US forces’ press office in Kabul did not respond to calls and emails from EFE for comment.
A spokesman for the Afghan defense ministry, Zubair Arif, said they still didn’t have any information regarding the incident.
“We are looking into it and will share information when it becomes available,” Arif told EFE.
The area where the bombing took place is under Taliban control.
The insurgent group reacted sharply to the air strike and called it “continuation of daily war crimes” committed by “American invaders.”
Taliban spokesperson Qari Yusuf Ahmadi in a statement emailed to EFE said the “barbaric air strike resulted in the complete destruction of the foundation’s headquarters.”
Founded in 1987 by a team of Afghan volunteers, CHA provides aid to Afghan war victims in areas of health, nutrition, education, agricultural activities and vocational training.
Air strikes by Afghan and American forces in the first quarter of this year have killed 145 civilians and injured 83, according to United Nations data.
This is the highest number of civilian casualties in air strikes in the past decade in Afghanistan, the UN said in its quarterly report released in April.
Women and children comprised half of the civilian casualties from all aerial operations, according to the report.