News Alerts

29 Nov 2018 | 12:10 AM UTC

Afghanistan: US airstrike, Taliban kill 30 civilians in Helmand Nov. 27-28

Afghanistan News Alert

US airstrike, Taliban kill 30 civilians in Garmsir district (Helmand province) November 27-28; additional attacks likely

TIMEFRAME expected from 11/28/2018, 12:00 AM until 12/5/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Kabul). COUNTRY/REGION Garmsir district (Helmand province)


Taliban attacks and a subsequent US airstrike killed 30 civilians in Garmsir district (Helmand province) overnight from Wednesday, November 27, into Thursday, November 28 (local time). Most of the civilian casualties are thought to have been the result of the US airstrike. US and Afghan security forces are also thought to have killed 16 Taliban militants during the firefight.

Additional Taliban attacks targeting security forces are to be expected over the coming weeks and increased popular discontent and anti-American sentiment is possible nationwide as a result of the US airstrike.


Taliban and Islamic State (IS) militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are in part intended to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) - and the Afghan government more broadly - to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country and in the aftermath of parliamentary and district elections held October 20.

The November 27-28 attack occurred in an area predominantly controlled by the Taliban. In areas of Taliban control, firefights tend to be more protracted and symmetric, Taliban attackers tend to be better supplied, and casualty figures are less likely to be wholly accurate.


Individuals in Helmand province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to any instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.

The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.


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