Afghan Villagers Accuse Gov’t of Bombing Taliban Homecoming
Eyewitnesses say at least 14 people, including several children, were killed on Thursday in Afghanistan’s western Herat Province when government aircraft struck homecoming festivities for Ghulam Nabi, a Taliban fighter who had just been freed from jail. Nabi was released in a prisoner exchange that was part of an agreement between the Taliban and the United States to expedite intra-Afghan peace talks. Some reports say Nabi’s young son was among those wounded in the airstrike. Among those who condemned the attack was US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who helped engineer the deal signed earlier this year in Doha, Qatar. “In Herat, photos and eyewitness accounts suggest many civilians including children are among the victims of an Afghan airstrike,” he tweeted. “We condemn the attack and support an investigation.” Prisoner exchanges were a major sticking point following the deal, with the government in Kabul initially digging in its heels.