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Afghan forces kill 14 civilians in ground raid, locals say

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Afghan forces kill 14 civilians in ground raid, locals say

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KABUL (Reuters) - At least 14 civilians were killed during an operation by Afghan security forces in eastern Nangarhar province, residents said on Wednesday.

Government officials confirmed that security officials had conducted an operation against insurgents in the Shahidano Mena area of Rodat district on Tuesday and were investigating whether the operation resulted in civilian casualties.

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Both Taliban and Islamic State militants are active in eastern Afghanistan.

Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar governor confirmed the death of 14 people but he refused to comment whether the victims were civilians or insurgents.

Angry residents along with families of the victims said innocent men, women and children were targeted by the Afghan soldiers.

They laid the bodies of the deceased under a tent near the Jalalabad-Torkham highway and closed it for any traffic movement before the final rites.

The United Nations in October reported that at least 8,050 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded across the country in the first nine months of 2018.

The report attributed 65 percent of casualties to the Taliban, Islamic State and other anti-government forces.

(Reporting by Ahmad Sultan, Abdul Qadir Sediqi,)

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