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US drone attack on funeral kills 34 in east Afghanistan

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file photo shows a US MQ-9 Reaper drone.

At least 34 people have been killed in a US drone strike on a funeral ceremony in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost, Press TV reports.

Local authorities said on Friday that the drone struck an area in the mountainous region of Khost, close to Pakistan’s border.

Deputy Governor of Khost Province, Abdul Wahid Patan, told reporters that the attack targeted an area in Ali Shir, the Tere Zayi District of the province, at about 1:30 p.m. local time (0900 GMT).

According to Patan, all the victims were members of the Taliban militant group.

He added that the militants were holding a funeral ceremony for one of their leaders, who was killed by Afghan forces on Thursday.   

The Taliban have not commented on the airstrike yet.

The strike in Khost came a day after Nangarhar Province, also in eastern Afghanistan, was targeted in two similar drone attacks that killed 17 people. The strikes were carried out in the districts of Haska Mina and Chaparhar.

Washington employs unmanned aerial vehicles in an alleged bid to target terrorists in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Local officials and witnesses, however, say that the drone strikes have mostly claimed the lives of civilians over the past years.


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