Afghan Forces Kill up to 40 Wedding Guests During Raid

At least  40 civilians attending a wedding party were killed and 13 others wounded by explosions and gunfire during a raid by the United States-backed Afghan government forces on a nearby militant hideout, two officials in southern Helmand province said on Monday.

The officials said the house being used by the Taliban to train suicide bombers was located adjacent to the bride’s home that came under fire during Sunday night’s attack.

A senior Afghan Defence Ministry official said the raid was against “a foreign terrorist group actively engaged in organising terrorist attacks”.

A provincial council member, Abdul Majid Akhundzadah, said 40 people, all civilians,  near to the attack site in the Khaksar area of Musa Qala district were killed and 13 were injured.

The defence ministry said the Taliban hideout was also used by foreign nationals working for the hardline group.

A senior US defence official in Afghanistan said the operation was aimed against Al Qaeda fighters but did not give any details about civilian casualties.

Several civilians at a wedding party were killed and 18 members of the Afghan forces died in the fighting, the Taliban said in a statement.

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