$3 billion of aid and killed 15 civilians in East of Afghanistan

The United States expects the upcoming international conference will bring pledges of over $3 billion a year to Afghanistan for development support.

The US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Olson made the remarks ahead of the conference which is expected to kick of next week in Brussels.

He was speaking at a forum on 29th September in Washington and said the U.S. government would seek through Congress to maintain U.S. assistance to Afghanistan “at, or near” current levels during the next four years.

“We expect strong pledges of renewed support to be announced next week, collectively totaling over $3 billion a year in development support through 2020,” he said.

Olson further added that the aid would be dependent on Afghan progress in implementing reforms including countering corruption.

He said he expects the Afghan government to announce “ambitious” medium-term plans to wean itself of donor support and stimulate economic growth.

The conference in Brussels will be hosted by the European Union and Afghanistan on 4th and 5th of October and some 70 countries and 30 international organizations and agencies will participate.

At least 15 civilians were killed in an airstrike conducted by the US forces in eastern Nangarhar province in a raid which was apparently aimed at eliminating the loyalists of the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) terrorist group.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) confirmed that the civilians suffered casualties in the airstrike on ISIS loyalists in Achin district of Nangarhar on Wednesday.

“In the early morning of 28 September, an international military forces unmanned aerial vehicle conducted an airstrike, reportedly targeting members of ISIL/Daesh, that struck a civilian home killing the 15 civilians,” UNAMA said in a statement.

condemning the civilian casualties in the attack, the UN mission said at least 1 civilian men were killed and 13 others were wounded in the raid.

“The civilians had gathered in a village to celebrate the return of a tribal elder from the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and were reportedly sleeping in a guesthouse of the elder when the airstrike occurred. Civilian victims of the strike included students and a teacher, as well as members of families considered to be pro-Government. Government sources report that ISIL/Daesh personnel also died in the attack,” the statement said.

UNAMA further added that United States Force-Afghanistan acknowledged conducting the airstrike through a statement released on 28th September but refrained from elaborating further while they “are still reviewing all materials related to the strike.”

“UNAMA reiterates the need for all parties to the conflict to adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law,” the statement added.

Source Khaama Press

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