Civilians, mostly women and children, were killed last week in air raids by NATO forces in Afghanistan's Helmand province, an initial United Nations inquiry suggested. On Thursday and Friday as many as 18 civilians died in airstrikes in Helmand's Sangin district, according to a UN statement released on Sunday.
Other US military officials said their aircraft have conducted around 30 air raids in Helmand in the past week. NATO's Resolute Support mission has initiated an inquiry into the incident.
"We are investigating the allegations and working diligently to determine whether civilians were killed or injured as a result of US airstrikes," Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, a US army spokesman in Afghanistan, said in a statement.
The presidential envoy for security in Helmand, Jabar Qahraman, said the raid against Taliban fighters in the Sangin district killed 13 people from one family and nine from another.
The NATO-led military mission has deployed hundreds of troops to Helmand in a bid to help Afghan security forces in their war against Taliban fighters.
Civilian casualties from both American and Afghan air strikes increased dramatically last year, according to the UN's most recent report on threats to civilians.
At least 891 civlians were killed or injured in 2016, a figure highest in areas outside of Kabul.
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