13 civilians killed in airstrike on house

Google Maps A map of Afghanistan with the Achin district marked in the Southeast near the border with Pakistan

The air strike targeted militants from the Islamic State (Isis/Daesh) terror group, but some civilians are believed to have also been hit, Afghan officials said.

The number of civilians killed is yet to be confirmed, with AP reporting the number to be as high as 13 and Reuters alleging three.

"They were in a house to visit someone who had just come from the Hajj pilgrimage".

Mohammed Ali, the Achin district police chief corroborated that account.

A USA military spokesman, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, confirmed to VOA that "U.S. forces did conduct one counterterrorism airstrike in the area on Wednesday". However, he did not discuss details of the operation.

The spokesman for the USA military in Afghanistan, Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, confirmed a "counter-terrorism air strike in Achin district" early on Wednesday.

"We are aware of some claims of Afghan casualties, and are now reviewing all materials related to this strike. We are continuing to look into these allegations and will provide additional information as appropriate".

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Between January and August this year, American aircraft released more than 800 weapons and flew more than 3,500 close air support missions in Afghanistan, according to USA military reports. Six IS fighters were also killed, he added.

Islamic State has enticed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fighters in Afghanistan and Pakistan to join, and it holds some territory in Nangarhar, with Achin a stronghold.

This is not the first time that U.S. forces have been accused of killing civilians during strikes against militants.

More than a dozen USA military personnel were disciplined this spring - but face no criminal charges - for mistakes that led to the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital that killed 42 people in Afghanistan in October 2015. Doctors without Borders accused the USA of a war crime.

A U.S. military enquiry labelled the attack as "human error". Doctors Without Borders called the attack "relentless and brutal" and demanded an worldwide investigation, but none has been undertaken. USA officials said those strikes targeted fighters attacking Afghan forces. He, however, did not confirm the killed and wounded were civilians.

The Pentagon had previously announced a strike in Nangarhar, claiming 13 ISIS were killed.

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