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03:08

Afghanistan: Protest blocks highway after drone strike kills family of 7 *GRAPHIC*

Afghanistan, Sayed Abad, Wardak
September 10, 2019 at 09:40 GMT +00:00 · Published

Protesters in the Maidan Wardak province, west of Kabul, blocked all trucks transiting on a highway in Afghanistan on Monday, in response to a airstrike reportedly killing a family of seven people in the village of Sayed Abad on Sunday evening. According to local officials, the airstrike was carried out by a drone.

Footage shows wreckage in the aftermath of the explosion, funerals for the victims and trucks backed up on a road as gathered protesters are chanting.

"My cousin was one of the victims; he graduated from Dasht-e-Toob University in Maidan Wardak province," said Mohammad Khalid, one of the protesters. "He was invited for dinner by his in-laws and friends. At around 22:10 PM, suddenly, a drone arrived and hit their home which killed seven people including my cousin's in-laws. We could not find their whole bodies, only body parts."

Another protester, Rahmatullah, who witnessed the attack, said, "We have blocked all transportation on the highway until the Afghan government hears our voices."

"Tonight is not the first time this happens in Maidan Wardak province, it happens all the time, we cannot sleep well. Because of one Taliban, many innocent people are being killed," added another local resident.

There have been over 4,000 drone strikes in Afghanistan since 2015, killing nearly 4,000 people. Estimates of civilian casualties range from 1 to nearly 35 percent, according to analysis by the New America Foundation, the Long War Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

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Protesters in the Maidan Wardak province, west of Kabul, blocked all trucks transiting on a highway in Afghanistan on Monday, in response to a airstrike reportedly killing a family of seven people in the village of Sayed Abad on Sunday evening. According to local officials, the airstrike was carried out by a drone.

Footage shows wreckage in the aftermath of the explosion, funerals for the victims and trucks backed up on a road as gathered protesters are chanting.

"My cousin was one of the victims; he graduated from Dasht-e-Toob University in Maidan Wardak province," said Mohammad Khalid, one of the protesters. "He was invited for dinner by his in-laws and friends. At around 22:10 PM, suddenly, a drone arrived and hit their home which killed seven people including my cousin's in-laws. We could not find their whole bodies, only body parts."

Another protester, Rahmatullah, who witnessed the attack, said, "We have blocked all transportation on the highway until the Afghan government hears our voices."

"Tonight is not the first time this happens in Maidan Wardak province, it happens all the time, we cannot sleep well. Because of one Taliban, many innocent people are being killed," added another local resident.

There have been over 4,000 drone strikes in Afghanistan since 2015, killing nearly 4,000 people. Estimates of civilian casualties range from 1 to nearly 35 percent, according to analysis by the New America Foundation, the Long War Journal and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

M/S Wreckage after drone strike in Maidan Wardak province, Afghanistan

C/U Wreckage

W/S Wreckage

W/S Damaged building

M/S Damaged building

C/U Photo of victim

M/S Clothes and photo of victim

W/S Victims' belongings

C/U Cloth with religious text draped over coffin

M/S Victim *GRAPHIC*

W/S Trucks on road

W/S Trucks on road

W/S Protesters on road

M/S Protesters

SOT, Abdul Qadir, eyewitness (Pashto): "My home is in front of where it happened. The drone attack was at 20:10 PM. I hugged my children, told them to sleep saying it is nothing. Whenever the drone hit, it start a fire. My family could not sleep until morning. We were waiting to see what happened by the morning, when we could only collect the remaining body parts. The dead were torn into pieces. Tonight is not the first time this happens in Maidan Wardak province, it happens all the time, we cannot sleep well. Because of one Taliban, many innocent people are being killed."

W/S Protesters *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Rahmatullah, eyewitness (Pashto): "I am here to see what happened last night. This drone strike from last night makes me very sad, because innocent people were killed. We have blocked all transportation on the highway until the Afghan government hears our voices."

W/S Protesters *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Mohammad Khalid, victim's cousin (Pashto): "My cousin was one of the victims; he graduated from Dasht-e-Toob University in Maidan Wardak province. He was attending a funeral ceremony at the site of the attack. After that, he was invited for dinner by his in-laws and friends. At around 20:10 PM, suddenly, a drone arrived and hit their home, which killed seven people including my cousin's in-laws. We could not find their whole bodies, only body parts."

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