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US drone strike kills 30 farm workers in Afghanistan

On Wednesday, September 18th 2019, a US drone strike hit farmers and labourers who had just finished collecting pine nuts in Wazir Tangi in Nangarhar province. The airstrike left 30 killed and 40 injured.

The strike was intended to hit an ISIS hideout.

150 workers were said to be present for the harvesting and some were still missing yesterday. Many survivors and other local men protested the attack on Thursday, as the bodies were carried to Jalalabad city and then to the burial site.

A letter had been sent 12 days ahead of the pine-nut harvest season to the governor of Nangarhar province detailing the plans for the harvest.

AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources.

Afghanistan was the country worst impacted by explosive weapons in August; with 734 civilian casualties from such violence last month.

The attacks seen in 2019 are set to make this year the worst recorded in Afghanistan since AOAV began the monitor in 2010. Between January and August 2019, AOAV has recorded 3,068 civilian casualties from explosive violence in Afghanistan. No previous year has seen more civilian casualties in the same period.

While improvised explosive devices appear to be responsible for the majority of civilian casualties (79%) from explosive violence, airstrikes have caused 9% of these casualties. The 265 civilian casualties from airstrikes in Afghanistan recorded between January and August 2019, represent the largest number of such casualties seen in the same period for any other year.

Compared to the same period last year, civilian casualties from airstrikes have risen by 14% (from 232 to 265), while the rise in civilian casualties from IEDs is 5% (from 2321 to 2438).