Witnesses say children killed in airstrike on Taliban at religious school

April 3 (UPI) — Witnesses to an airstrike on Taliban fighters in Afghanistan said Tuesday that more than 100 people were killed, including many civilians and children.

Officials said the attack Monday on a religious school in the Dasht-e-Archi district in northern Kunduz province killed at least 70 people, including top Taliban commanders.

“The airstrike killed more than 30 Taliban fighters, including nine commanders,” Ministry of Defense spokesman Mohammad Radmanish told Al Jazeera. “The Taliban training center was bombed and no civilians were present.”

The Taliban denied its fighters were present at the madrasa, where many families had gathered for a ceremony, including many children and young boys.

“There were children as young as 11 or 12 years old in the ceremony who were to be presented with awards and gifts for the completion of their religious courses,” witness Mohammed Abdul Haq said.
“Mothers are wailing and crying outside the hospitals for the death of their children and everyone is crying with them.”

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said on Twitter it would investigate.

“UNAMA actively looking into disturbing reports of serious harm to civilians yesterday from airstrike at Dashti Archi, Kunduz. Human Rights team on ground establishing facts. All parties reminded of obligations to protect civilians from impact of armed conflict,” the organization tweeted.