The Afghan defense officials said Saturday that the Taliban leaders even used own family members as human shield in northern Kunduz province to counter the Afghan forces operation as they were planning another attack on Kunduz city.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesman Dawlat Waziri told reporters that the Taliban leaders had gathered in the house of their commanders to plan the attack.
He said the Afghan special forces launched an operation but faced a strong resistance from the Taliban insurgents who used the house of one of their commanders located in a residential area.
Strongly condemning the use of civilians as shield, even their own family members, Waziri said the defense ministry and government are feeling grief regarding the civilian deaths, even if they are family members of the Taliban group commanders.
In the meantime, the Afghan government said a delegation has been formed and will soon visit the area to investigate the deadly incident.
At least 30 civilians were killed and 25 others were wounded, including women and children during the operation on Thursday.
The defense officials said at least 3 soldiers of the Afghan special forces also lost their lives during the operation together with the 2 US special forces.
In the meantime, a spokesman for the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) Gen. Charles Cleveland said the civilians deaths in Kunduz was tragedy.
He said the Taliban group leaders who were planning fresh attacks on Kunduz city were targeted in the operation and several Taliban leaders and fighters were killed in the operation.
Reaffirming NATO’s support to Afghan forces, Gen. Cleveland warned that the presence of the Taliban forces in Kunduz will continue to pose threats to the province.