Kunduz Governor Assadullah Omarkhail confirmed late Thursday night that close to 30 civilians were killed and dozens wounded in the joint Afghan and U.S military operation in the Boz Kandahari area in Kunduz overnight Wednesday.
Omarkhail said that among the dead were children and a three-month-old baby.
He also said 28 Taliban fighters had been killed – an increase in the earlier toll of 14.
Earlier Thursday night, the presidential palace issued a statement that said during the military operation insurgents infiltrated residential areas and used people as human shields.
“President (Ashraf) Ghani was shocked after hearing the news of the civilian death toll and directed the security and defense officials and Kunduz governor to take all necessary steps during operations to prevent civilian casualties,” the statement read.
The statement noted that Ghani has assigned a task team to probe the incident.
“The president also ordered Kunduz governor and other relevant security and civilian officials to ensure the delivery of necessary aid to the families of victims and make sure the best treatment is made available to those injured in the incident,” the statement added.
At least 14 insurgents were killed in joint operations overnight Wednesday. The operations included airstrikes by foreign forces.
Ministry of Defense spokesman Dawlat Waziri confirmed earlier that three Afghan commandos and two U.S Special Forces were also killed in the military operation.
He said that a further seven commandos and two special forces members were wounded during the operation.
Resolute Support also confirmed the death of two of their service members.