Local officials in Herat province have reported that at least 45 people were killed in airstrikes in the Kham Ziarat area of the province on Wednesday, July 22. Officials have reported that at least eight civilians are among those killed, with dozens of others wounded, as the strikes struck a wedding party. Six local Taliban commanders were also reportedly among those killed. The United States have denied involvement in the airstrike and the Afghan military have said they will investigate the incident in light of the reports of civilian casualties.
Further security operations and militant attacks are possible in Herat province over the near term.
Taliban 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 to gain leverage amid ongoing peace negotiations.
Those in Herat province are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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