KABUL (SW) – The US special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation has said the last 24 hours have been very violent in Afghanistan with many losing their lives.
In a series of tweets, Zalmay Khalilzad reacted to the recent air raid in the Herat province. He said in Herat, photos and eyewitness accounts suggest many civilians including children are among the victims of an Afghan airstrike. “We condemn the attack and support an investigation”, said the US envoy.
“Similarly, we deplore the recent Taliban attacks in which many Afghans have lost their lives”, Khalilzad went on to say that the Afghan people want an immediate start of peace negotiations and a settlement that is in their best interest. “More graves will not bring negotiations forward”, he said.
The US envoy stressed rather than setting the process back, Washington urges all sides to contain the violence, protect civilians, and show necessary restraint “as the start of intra-Afghan negotiations is so close”.
The air raid in Herat province killed and wounded dozens of people, including six prominent Taliban fighters, a well-placed source told Salam Watandar.
Jilani Farhad, spokesman for the governor of Herat, said the attack took place in an area where a number of prominent Taliban members, Maulvi Haidar, Abdullah Akbari, Mullah Rahmatullah, Zabihullah Akbari, Mullah Mohammad and Mullah Abdul Haq, known as Osama – had gathered. According to him, local Taliban leaders were killed during the meeting as they planned to attack government facilities.
Meanwhile, the Taliban said in a statement that all the victims of the air raid were civilians.