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Sep 29, 12:31 PM EDT

UN in Afghanistan says 15 civilians killed in US air strike


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UN in Afghanistan says 15 civilians killed in US air strike

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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The United Nations in Afghanistan says at least 15 civilians were killed and another 13 injured in an air strike in eastern Nangarhar province early Wednesday.

In a statement Thursday, UNAMA calls for an independent investigation.

The U.S. military told The Associated Press on Wednesday it had been conducting air operations against Islamic State group loyalists in Nangarhar's Achin district at the time.

Spokesman Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland said the claims of civilian casualties were being investigated. He had no further details Thursday.

UNAMA says the strike happened as a crowd gathered at the home of a tribal elder to welcome him back from his pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj ritual.

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