07.01.16 Drone War

Afghanistan: Reported US air and drone strikes 2016

A note on our data and methodology

US drones and jets have been bombing Afghanistan since late 2001 and the airstrikes look set to continue into the Trump administration.

For most of the past 15 years, US aircraft operated alongside allied air forces. However this changed on January 1 2015. From that point the US became the only air force known to be flying fast jets or armed drones in Afghanistan. A handful of European allies have kept some transport helicopters in the country to support the Nato Resolute Support Mission.

Besides the US, the Afghan Air Force (AAF) is the only other force carrying out air strikes in Afghanistan. As of June 1 2016 the AAF operated at least 41 strike-capable aircraft. This number is increasing as more helicopters and fixed-wing ground attack aircraft are delivered to the AAF and are sent to the frontline.

The number of AAF strikes is not publicly known however the UN has reported an increasing number of civilian casualties from the attacks. The UN counted 126 civilian casualties in 2015 – 46 were killed and 80 injured. In the UN’s six-month report in 2016 the number of civilian casualties had doubled compared with the same period the year before, with with 161 casualties in January to June – 57 killed and 104 injured.

Those incidents that are reported in Afghan and international media are recorded in this timeline, for reference, though not included in the running tallies in the tables below.

Find our 2015 data here.

Find our 2017 data here.

On January 1 2015 the international commitment in Afghanistan took on a new form. The US and Nato started their non-combat “Train, Advise, Assist” mission supporting the Afghan police and army. Alongside this, the US began a counter-terrorism mission hunting al Qaeda and its allies.

The events detailed below occurred in 2016. They have been reported by US, Afghan and Pakistani civil, military and intelligence officials, through credible media, academic and other sources, including the Bureau’s own field researchers and published investigations.

This is not an exhaustive list. The US Air Force publishes monthly summaries of its operations over Afghanistan, including how many strike missions it has flown and how many bombs and missiles have been released. This information is published one month late but still indicates a greater number of strikes than the Bureau’s tally. The US figures are summarised in the table below and can be downloaded from the US Air Force website.

For more on our methodology, see the notes page in our database of strikes accessible here. A more detailed analysis of the US Air Force’s figures are also maintained in this sheet.

The Bureau uses a C suffix on the six digit alphanumeric strike code when there are unresolved questions over the attribution of a strike, or its sourcing. They are not included in our casualty estimates.

In order to give some context to the strikes, brief summaries of events in Afghanistan and internationally have been included in the timeline. These might include noteworthy military and political events in Afghanistan or political developments in Washington or Islamabad, for example. Some of these summaries include a body count – they are not included in the Bureau’s casualty estimates and they do not have a six figure alphanumeric code.

This research is part of the Bureau’s covert drone war project. The Bureau has collected extensive data on US drone strikes and air strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

 

Reported US strikes, Afghanistan 2016
Strikes recorded
by the Bureau
Total reported strikes: 1071
Total reported killed: 1,389-1,597
Civilians reported killed: 65-105
Children reported killed: 3-7
Total reported injured: 196-243

 

The Air Force publishes its data online in an Air Power Summary – the monthly figures are posted in the second week of the following month. For example, data for January were posted in the second week of February. Therefore, the figures in the table above and below are only ever accurate up to the end of the previous month.

US Air Force reported air operations, Afghanistan 2016
Total Close Air Support (CAS) sorties
with at least one weapon release
615
Total CAS sorties 5,162
Total weapons released 1,337

 

Monitoring the US drone and air strikes in Afghanistan: A new project for the Bureau

The current international missions in Afghanistan sprang into life on January 1 2015, with clear roots in the international military operations that came before.

The Nato-led operation, Resolute Support Mission (RSM), is a non-combat mission in the country to train, assist and advise the Afghan police and army – a role it inherited from Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (Isaf). As of the most recent public tally, in October 2016, there were 39 countries contributing soldiers to RSM, ranging from more than 860 Georgian troops to one from Luxembourg.

The US mission, Operation Freedom Sentinel (OFS) in part fulfils the same functions as RSM. Most are part of RSM’s training mission but a significant counter-terrorism element remains. This is largely a continuation of the 14 year long Operation Enduring Freedom mission, the banner US and allied forces first entered Afghanistan under back in October 2001 to hunt down al Qaeda.

After the US and its allies scattered the Taliban and al Qaeda in 2001, the UN sent in a peacekeeping force to secure the capital. This assistance force, Isaf, was meant to last six months to allow the government to find its feet and hold elections. In 2003 the UN decided to hand over control of Isaf to Nato. As the years went by, it became less about peacekeeping and more about fighting the Afghan Taliban insurgency.

Similarly, Operation Enduring Freedom changed from its initial special operations-focused hunt for terrorists. It too became increasingly focused on countering the Taliban insurgency.

The provinces of Afghanistan: US strikes have reportedly been focused in the south and east of the country. By UNAMA the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

 

The US has considerable firepower at its disposal to support this mission. The Air Force operates F-16 strike, aircraft stationed at Bagram Air Base near Kabul, as well as Predator and Reaper drones based at Kandahar and Jalalabad. The US Army still has Apache attack helicopters in the country. The CIA still operates drones from Afghanistan and the US Air Force continues to fly AC-130 gunships, such as the aircraft that carried out the catastrophic October 3 2015 strike in Kunduz that hit a charity-run hospital.

The Bureau’s data by month for 2016


January 2016

AFG136
January 2 2016
♦ 5 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

A US drone strike killed at least five former Pakistan Taliban (TTP) fighters in Kunar province. One of the dead, Abu Bakr, was thought to be the former TTP commander in Bajaur tribal agency in Pakistan. All five men had reportedly left the TTP and pledged allegiance to the so-called Islamic State, also known as Isis.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Shaltan Darra area, Shegal district, Kunar province
References: Khaama Press, The News International

January 5 2016
A US Army Special Forces soldier was killed and others were injured during an “hours-long gun battle” in Helmand that the Pentagon said was a combat “situation”.

One soldier died of his wounds after helicopters sent to evacuate the casualties got into trouble. News reports said one hit a wall and damaged its rotor while the other did not land after taking fire. The gun battle went on for at least three hours after the casualties were reported by the Pentagon press office.

The troops were eventually airlifted out of the fight with one report saying a battlefield medic tended to the injured Green Beret for 12 hours while under fire. The casualty “was alert and orientated” while being evacuated, a source told the Sofrep – a respected news website run by former special operations soldiers.

US Congressman Ryan Zinke (R-Montana) wrote a letter to the Secretary of Defence asking for a briefing on this incident after reports the Green Beret team were denied air support or backup.

The US Special Forces team had been deployed to Marjah to help Afghan troops soldiers trying to retake districts in the southern province. They were there in a “support backup” role, the Pentagon said. A spokesman insisted the Special Forces team were not in a combat role, saying: “This is a combat situation, but they’re not in the lead.”

In the days after the attack it was reported that a Quick Reaction Force was not dispatched to the firefight when the elite soldiers were pinned down, and air support from an AC-130 gunship was waived off by senior commanders.

The Pentagon released the name of the dead soldier on January 8. Army Staff Sgt. Matthew McClintock was part of a team from 19 Special Forces Group. A spokesman said the soldiers had come under fire while “conducting a train, advise and assist mission with their Afghan special operations counterparts”. They were the first US casualties of 2016.

The soldiers were attacked with Afghan forces in the district of Marja in the southern Helmand province – the scene of intense fighting as the Afghan army and police struggled to resist the Taliban. The insurgents’ efforts to seize Helmand intensified in 2015 and continued into 2016. Helmand plays a central role in the Afghan opium trade.

Location: Marjah district, Helmand province
References: The Guardian, Reuters, CNN, US Forces – Afghanistan, The Hill, Sofrep, Sofrep, Sofrep


US F-16 jets filmed on January 6 at Bagram Air Base during operations supporting US and Afghan forces in Helmand province.

AFG137
January 6 2016
♦ Unknown killed

A dozen US strikes hit Helmand as fierce fighting between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces continued in the southern province.

A US spokesman said: “US forces have conducted 12 air strikes in support of operations in and around Marjah.” There were no reported casualties.

US “warplanes” had been flying air support sorties over the US forces in Helmand the day before this attack. It is not clear if this strike and those missions were carried out by drones or jets. US F-16s were known to be flying some support operations from Bagram airfield.

The US spokesman said the US was still operating in Marjah and Sangin districts after a US soldier was killed by Taliban gunfire, and two others were injured.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Majah district, Helmand province
References: Reuters

Afghan Air Force strikes
January 8
2016
♦ 23 reported killed

The Afghan Air Force said it had killed 23 fighters from the Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate.

Type of attack: AAF strikes
Location: Achin and Kot disticts, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG138
January 8 2016
♦ 17-20 reported killed
♦ Possible civilian deaths
♦ 2 civilians reported injured

A US drone strike killed 17 fighters from the so-called Islamic State, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman, provincial police chief’s spokesman, and local residents.

The strike was confirmed by US Forces – Afghanistan public affairs director, Colonel Michael Lawhorn.

He told the Bureau: “US forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike yesterday. It is [US Forces – Afghanistan] policy not to discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations.”

The strike hit just as seven men were beheaded by the Islamic State fighters, in front of local villagers, according to Ataullah Khogyani the provincial governor’s spokesman. The execution and strike took place in the afternoon after Friday prayers before a mosque. The executed men included six Taliban fighters and one Afghan National Army soldier, the local residents said.

A resident in the area, Abdul Qayyum, told Pajhwok a large number of villagers had gathered to watch the execution. He also said there were civilian casualties though did not give a precise figure or details.

Both the Afghan security forces and Afghan Taliban have been fighting the self-proclaimed Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State group.

Fighters from various armed Afghan and Pakistani armed groups declared themselves part of Isis in 2015 and gained a foothold in southern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. It is not clear exactly how closely associated these fighters are with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Maktab village, Pekha area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Voice of America, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, TOLO News, Anadolu Agency, Reuters, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG139
January 8 2016
♦ Unknown killed

A US strike was conducted “to eliminate threats to the force,” the spokesman for US Forces – Afghanistan, Colonel Michael Lawhorn, told the Bureau.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Kharkhez district, Kandahar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG140
January 8 2016
♦ Unknown killed

A US strike was conducted “to eliminate threats to the force,” Colonel Michael Lawhorn, director of public affairs for US Forces – Afghanistan, told the Bureau. The US mission in Afghanistan acknowledges its air attacks in Afghanistan but refuse to “get into our targeting processes and methods nor discuss what may or may not have been targeted in the past” for “operational security reasons”.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG141
January 9 2016
♦ 20 reported killed
♦ “Several” injured

A second consecutive US strike on Achin district in Nangarhar left 20 people dead – all reported to be members of the Islamic State group.

The US command in Kabul confirmed it was a US strike but would not comment on targeting processes and methods, “for operational security reasons” according to chief spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn.

“Twenty [Isis] affiliates have died in drone strikes by Nato in Achin district,” said Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, Nangarhar police spokesman. Several houses being used by the terrorists were destroyed, various media outlets reported.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Geo TV, Daily Times, Pakistan Today, DPA, Express Tribune, Express Tribune, Dawn, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG141C
January 9 2016
♦ 15 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured, including 1 woman

An airstrike killed 15 alleged Islamic State fighters however the reporting did not specify if it was a US or Afghan strike.

Type of attack: Afghan or US air strike
Location: Janjal Gondai area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Afghan Islamic Press

AFG142
January 9 2016
♦ 10 reported killed
♦ 1 child reported killed

Ten terrorists were reported killed in a US drone strike in Kunar province. The adolescent son of a former senior figure in the TTP was said to be among the dead.

Early reports said three or four Pakistani fighters were killed in the attack however these casualty estimates were subsequently increased to 10.

Colonel Michael Lawhorn, director of communications for US Forces – Afghanistan, told the Bureau the US carried out the strike out “to eliminate threats to the force”. When asked about reports a child died in the attack, Col Lawhorn said: “For operational security reasons, we will not get into our targeting processes and methods nor discuss what may or may not have been targeted in the past.”

The dead were said to be Pakistanis and three were reported to be from Pashat Salarzai area in Pakistan’s Bajaur tribal agency. Among those three were a man named Zishan, Haqyar and Sajid Mohammed (aka Attique or Atiqullah), 13 or 14, son of Maulvi Faqir Mohammad a former deputy leader of the TTP who served under the command of both Baitullah and Hakimullah Mehsud.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Shegal district, Kunar province
References: Pajhwok, Daily Pakistan, Express Tribune, Khaama Press, DPA, Express Tribune, Express Tribune, Dawn, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG142C
January 10 2016 
♦ 8-11 reported killed

At least eight more alleged Isis fighters were reported killed in an air strike however it was not clear whether it was a US or Afghan attack.

Type of attack: Afghan or US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Express Tribune, Express Tribune, BNA

AFG143
January 10 2016
♦ Unknown killed

The first of two US strikes in Bermal district on this day, conducted “to eliminate threats to the force” according to Colonel Michael Lawhorn, US Forces – Afghanistan director of public affairs.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG144
January 10 2016
♦ Unknown killed

The second US strikes in Bermal district on this day, also conducted “to eliminate threats to the force” according to Colonel Michael Lawhorn, US Forces – Afghanistan director of public affairs.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force Strike
January 11 2016
♦ 22 reported killed

The Afghan Air Force said it killed 18 fighters from the Islamic State group in Achin district of Nangarhar province. The AAF also killed four Taliban fighters in Gerishk district of Helmand province in the south of the country.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province and Gerishk district, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force Strike
January 13 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

An Afghan Air Force helicopter targeted a group of insurgents, killing 10 according to the provincial police chief Fazil Ahmad Shirzad. The attack took place in the evening, Shirzad added.

Type of strike: AAF Air Strikes
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

January 14 2016
The US State Department added the so-called Islamic State group’s off-shoot in Afghanistan and Pakistan to its list of foreign terrorist organisations. State said, in a press release:

[Islamic State – Khorasan] announced its formation on January 10, 2015. The group is based in the Afghanistan/Pakistan region and is composed primarily of former members of Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan and the Afghan Taliban. The senior leadership of [Islamic State – Khorasan] has pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, the leader of [Isis]. This pledge was accepted in late January 2015 and since then [Islamic State – Khorasan] has carried out suicide bombings, small arms attacks and kidnappings in eastern Afghanistan against civilians and Afghan National Security and Defense Forces, and claimed responsibility for May 2015 attacks on civilians in Karachi, Pakistan.

Location: Washington DC
Reference: US State Department

AFG145
January 14 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

A US strike killed 12 people in the first attack on the so-called Islamic State group’s Afghanistan offshoot – Islamic State – Khorasan (IS-K) – since the US government declared the group was a foreign terrorist organisation.

Afghan officials initially claimed the attack killed Hafiz Saeed Khan, the leader of IS-K. However these assertions proved false and were withdrawn. Achin District governor said on January 15: “The information we received yesterday was not accurate. After receiving accurate information, we realized he had not been killed.”

Saeed Khan was a Pakistan Taliban fighter who split from the TTP in 2014 to join with IS-K. The attack hit at 4pm local time, Khogyani said. He had been falsely reported killed before, in July 2015.

The strike also killed Ajnabi, according to Achin district governor Ghalib Mujahid. Ajnabi was the son of Manghal Bagh the leader of Lashkar e Islam, a Pakistani terrorist group.

While the US confirmed it had carried out a strike in the district, they would not confirm it had targeted or killed Saeed Khan. A US spokesman told Voice of America: “US confirmed a strike in Achin District, Nangarhar province January 14 against a threat to the force. At this time we cannot confirm the claim that Hafiz Saeed (Khan) was involved in this strike.” The US made no mention of killing Ajnabi.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Abdulkhelo area, Bandar locality, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Voice of America, Voice of America, Express Tribune, Khaama Press, TOLO News, Voice of America

AFG146
January 14 2016
♦ 36 reported killed

Several “Nato airstrikes” killed 36 alleged Isis fighters in the Haska Mena district of Nangarhar province.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Haron Baba, Mano and Sabai areas, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Raha Press/Pajhwok

AFG147
January 16 2016
♦ 17 reported killed

At least 17 alleged Isis fighters were killed in eight drone strikes over the afternoon of January 16, the Afghan army said. The strikes hit in Deh Bala district of Nangarhar.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG148
January 16 2016
♦ 22 reported killed

Another US airstrike in the Haska Mena district of Nangarhar province left 22 alleged Isis fighters dead, Pajhwok reported.

Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said the strike hit in the Shabi Tangi area on the evening of January 16.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Shabi Tangi, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG149
January 19 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

Five alleged Isis fighters were killed by US drones in Nangarhar province. A commander, Sajid Aarabzai (aka Qari Sajjaad) was said to be among the dead.

Early reports said three had been killed however a statement from the Ministry of Interior put the total at five, as did the spokesman for the provincial police chief. The strike killed the men as they drove in a vehicle, Nangarhar governor’s spokesman said.

This was at least the seventeenth US strike in 2016 that was said to have killed members of the Afghanistan faction of Isis. The attack hit between 2pm and 2pm local time (9.30am-10.30am GMT), approximately 14 hours before the Wall Street Journal revealed the White House had given the Pentagon legal authority to target Isis in Afghanistan.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Deh Sarak area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press, Afghan Ministry of Interior

AFG150
January 22 2016

♦ 3 reported killed

The first US drone strike reported in Zabul since January 1 2015 killed three insurgents, according to Mullah Zarif the administrative head of Khawajakhel town. The attack hit late in the day.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Khawajakhel, Arghandab district, Zabul province
References: Pajhwok

AFG151
January 22 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

A US attack killed two alleged members of the Islamic State’s Khorasan franchise (IS-K), according to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG152
January 22 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

Three alleged IS-K fighters were killed in a US strike in Achin district, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Abdulkhel area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG153
January 22 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

Ten IS-K fighters were reported killed in a US drone attack, including a commander from the group, Qari Hafizullah.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Gorgorai area, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG154
January 23 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

Three more alleged IS-K fighters were reported killed by US drones. The provincial governor’s spokesman said Qari Wahab, an IS-K commander, was killed in either this attack or another strike the day before (AFG153).

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG155
January 23 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Defence reported: “A coalition Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) targeted militants of [IS-K] in Nargusi village of Achin District yesterday. As a result, Maiwand, a commander of [IS-K] and five of his men were killed.”

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Nargusi village, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG156
January 24 2016
♦ 13 reported killed

Thirteen IS-K fighters were reported killed in a US drone strike in the Deh Bala district.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Gurguri area, Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG157
January 24 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

A further four IS-K fighters were reported killed in the Achin district of Nangarhar.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Bandar Khwar village, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG158
January 25 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

US drones killed five Taliban fighters in a strike in Achin district including a commander, Qari Hidayatullah.

The strike hit “late” on January 25 – it was the seventh consecutive strike reported in Nangarhar recorded by the Bureau

There were speculative reports in the Pakistani media that the strike killed Mullah Fazlullah, the leader of the Pakistan Taliban. The reports appeared to have been based on a news report from December 2014. A Pakistani security official told Dawn: “We are trying to verify these reports… The last we heard about him was that he was in Kunar and not in Nangarhar.”

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Dawn


February 2016

AFG159
February 1 2016
♦ 21-29 reported killed

Two or four US strikes killed at least 21 people in a direct attack on an Islamic State’s propaganda outlet, US and Afghan officials said.

The attacks leveled a radio station, called Voice of the Caliphate, an “Internet control centre”, and an makeshift court in Achin district of Nangarhar, according to several Afghan officials.

Eight of the dead were broadcasting and three were working in the Internet facility.

The Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is renowned for its sophisticated and bloodthirsty propaganda videos distributed online. The group’s Afghan offshoot, IS-K, had started transmitting an hour of propaganda in Pashto on the FM network last year. It added a Dari language service to its transmissions and extended broadcasts to 90 minutes. The attack hit while the radio was broadcasting a warning to local residents to support the Islamic Sate group or be killed.

Radio is a powerful medium in Afghanistan, a country with low television and Internet coverage.

Details of what happened are vague or conflicted. Afghan national news agency Pajhwok reported a timeline of events however. The first strike hit the radio station, the second hit a hideout. It is not clear what the third strike hit and the fourth hit the Internet facility though it is not clear what that was meant to be. The attacks hit around 7pm local time (2.30pm GMT).

Some reports said the attack was carried out by the Afghan Air Force. However the AAF still lacked the ability for precision strikes and a spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan said the US carried out two counter-terrorism strikes in Achin on the night of February 1. He would not elaborate citing operational security.

Type of attack: US drone or air strikes
Location: Momand area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Associated Press, Voice of America, Voice of America, TOLO News, Pajhwok, Khaama Press, RFE/RL, Reuters, BBC, Washington Post, New York Times

AFG160
February 1 2016
♦ 19 reported killed

A US strike killed 18 members of the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) group on the Afghan side of the border from Waziristan, according to Afghan and Pakistani officials.

There were suggestions a British-born engineer was among the dead however the identities of the dead were not known. They were described as being part of part of a TTP faction loyal to Sayed Khan Sajna.

Fourteen of the men were from the Mehsud tribe and the remaining four were Ahmadzai Waziri tribesmen. The Mehsuds and Waziris are Pashtun tribes that live on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, a boundary drawn by the British Empire in the late 19th century.

The strike killed the men as they crossed from Pakistan into Afghanistan, Pakitka provincial governor’s spokesman said. The bodies were taken back to various locations just over the border in Pakistan.Paktika_districts

It was not clear where the strike hit. Some sources said it hit in the Bermal district of Paktika, some in Gomal district. These two districts are adjacent (see right for map of Paktika’s districts) and form part of Afghanistan’s border with Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). Gomal abuts the tribal area of South Waziristan, Bermal the area of North Waziristan and the Shawal area, home to various Pakistani terrorist groups.

Type of attack: US drone or air strikes
Location: Bermal or Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Dawn, Khaama Press, Express Tribune, Pajhwok, Dawn, Express Tribune

AFG161
February 2 2016
♦ 3-4 reported killed

Three or four alleged Islamic State – Khorasan fighters were killed in an evening strike in Nangarhar province.

US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn told the Bureau: “US forces conducted an air strike on February 2 – in the Achin district of Nangarhar against a threat to the force.”

Type of attack: US drone or air strikes
Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, TOLO News, Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG162
February 4 2016
♦ 10-15 reported killed

Ten or 15 TTP fighters were reported killed by US drones in eastern Afghanistan.

The attack was carried out in coordination with Afghan troops, according to the provincial assembly’s Deputy Chairman Naimatullah Babari. He said the TTP fighters had moved into Afghanistan after being dislodged from Pakistan by an ongoing army offensive there.

Type of attack: US drone or air strikes
Location: Daman in Marghay area, Bermal district, Paktika province
References: The News

AFG163
February 4 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

Three TTP fighters were killed by US drones in a night time strike, according to Kunar police chief brigadier general Abdul Habib Syedkhel. The dead were reported to be from Bajaur tribal area in Pakistan.

Colonel Michael Lawhorn, a US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman, told the Bureau the US carried out a strike on this date in Shigal district of Kunar. It was a counter-terrorism strike and “it is [US Forces – Afghanistan] policy not to discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations”.

Type of attack: US drone or air strikes
Location: Shiltan area, Shigal district, Kunar province
References: Pajhwok, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG164
February 5 2016

♦ 16 reported killed

Sixteen Pakistani members of Islamic State – Khorasan were reported killed in one or two US drone strikes in Nangarhar province.

Reporting was confused over the exact order of events and how many people were killed. Some sources reported the US strike killed 16 while an Afghan military operation in neighbouring Batikot district killed a further 12. However other sources attributed both to the US.

An American spokesman confirmed it carried out a counter-terrorism strike in Achin district though refused to comment further citing operational security.

Type of attack: US drone or air strikes
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Voice of America, TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG165
February 8 2016
♦ 11 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

A reported air strike in the bazaar in Achin district left 11 alleged Islamic State – Khorasan fighters dead.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG166
February 8 2016
♦ 15 reported killed
♦ 10 reported injured

Fifteen Taliban fighters were reported killed in an airstrike in southern Helmand province.

The attack came as the Guardian newspaper reported a “battalion-strength” force of US soldiers would be deployed to Helmand to prop up the struggling Afghan security forces. The Pentagon said the contingent, that could number as much as 800 soldiers, would not take part in combat but would support existing US and Afghan forces in the province. They would also “bolster force protection for the current staff of advisers” in Helmand.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Nad Ali and Greshk districts, Helmand province
References: TOLO News, The Guardian

AFG167
February 11 2016
♦ 13-18 reported killed

Between 13 and 18 Taliban fighters were reported killed by local residents. US drones destroyed two vehicles that apparently belonged to the Paktika shadow governor’s body guards. The strike hit during clashes between the Taliban and Islamic State – Khorasan Province. The Taliban acknowledged that 13 of their fighters were killed in two attacks in Gomal district.

Colonel Michael Lawhorn, a US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman, told the Bureau the US carried out a strike on this date in Gomal district of Paktika. It was a counter-terrorism strike and “it is [US Forces – Afghanistan] policy not to discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations”.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press, Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG168
February 15 2016
♦ 15 reported killed

“Security sources” said Zakir Qamberkhel, deputy commander of Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar e Islami, was killed in a drone strike in Nazyan district, Nangarhar province. Lashkar e Islami’s leader, Manghal Bagh, was said to be working with Islamic State’s Afghan offshoot Islamic State – Khorasan.

Colonel Michael Lawhorn, a US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman, confirmed to the Bureau that the US had carried out a strike on this date in the Nazyan district of Kunar. It was a counter-terrorism strike and “it is [US Forces – Afghanistan] policy not to discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations”.

Type of attack: Possible US drone or air strike
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: Geo TV, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG169
February 17 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Six Taliban fighters were killed in a US drone strike, according to the Pakitka governor’s spokesman, Nabiullah Peerkhil. The bodies were removed by other Taliban fighters after the strike hit a hideout, he said.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Raghi area, Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press

AFG170
February 18 2016

♦ 6 reported killed

Six “insurgents” were killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar, the provincial governor’s spokesman said. Ataullah Khogyani told reporters the strike hit a vehicle.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Raghi area, Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Pajhwok

AFG171
February 22 2016
♦ 22-25 reported killed

A US airstrike hit the Afghan Islamic State, IS-K offshoot killed at least 22 people in Nangarhar province.

Attaullah Khogyani, a government spokesman said: “A number of [IS-K] fighters gathered in the Pekha Khwar area intending to attack Afghan security posts, but they were targeted by a drone.”

“US forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike in the Achin district, Nangarhar province, yesterday,” according to US Army spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn in Kabul. “For reasons of operational security, we do not discuss counter-terror operations.”

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Pekha Khwar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Stars and Stripes, Reuters, TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG172
February 22 2016
♦ Unknown killed

US aircraft targeted Taliban positions in Baghlan province, north of Kabul, helping break an impasse preventing Afghan forces securing damaged power lines running from Uzbekistan to Kabul. The capital had been without electricity for three weeks after Taliban fighters destroyed electricity pylons and seeded the damaged infrastructure with IEDs.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Dand e Ghori area, Baghlan province
References: New York Times

AFG173
February 26 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

At least three men allegedly affiliated with al Qaeda were reported killed in a strike in Paktika province. The Afghan defence ministry said the US carried out the attack, destroying two motorcycles in the village of Dadul.

Colonel Michael Lawhorn, a US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman, confirmed to the Bureau that the US had carried out a strike on this date in Gomal, Paktika province. It was a counter-terrorism strike and “it is [US Forces – Afghanistan] policy not to discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations”.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Dadul village, Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG174
February 28 2016
♦ 7-9 reported killed

At least seven Islamic State fighters were killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar, according to the provincial police.

The men were targeted in Achin district on Sunday afternoon. Two “prominent commanders” were reported killed and a number of foreign fighters were also said to be among the dead.

Colonel Michael Lawhorn, a US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman, confirmed to the Bureau that the US had carried out a strike on this date in Achin. It was a counter-terrorism strike and “it is [US Forces – Afghanistan] policy not to discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations”.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamand Dara and Pekha areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok, US Forces – Afghanistan via email


March 2016

AFG175
March 5 2016
♦ 15 reported killed

Fifteen alleged Islamic State fighters were killed in a US drone strike, according to local journalists, the provincial governor’s office and the district police chief.

A US military spokesman, Colonel Michael Lawhorn, confirmed the US had carried out a counter-terrorism strike but would not provide any details.

The strike hit at night and destroyed a cache of weapons and ammunition were reported to have been destroyed.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamond Dara, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Stars and Stripes, TOLO News

AFG175C
March 20 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

Three people were reported dead in an airstrike in Achin, Nangarhar province. They were all described as Islamic State fighters. It was not clear if it was a US or Afghan strike. It hit at 3.30pm local time.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Mamond area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG176
March 21 2016
♦ 8 reported killed

At least eight alleged Islamic State fighters were killed in eastern Nangarhar, according to the provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal.

The attack was reported as a drone strike. It hit a moving vehicle as it drove through Kot district at around 2.30pm (10am GMT) – something beyond the Afghan Air Force. A foreigner was said to be among the dead.

If true, the apparent presence of Islamic State fighters in Nangarhar’s Kot district would contradict the statement that the IS-Khorasan group is limited now to just Achin district of Nangarhar. Colonel Michael Lawhorn, spokesman for US-Forces Afghanistan, told the Bureau that the group had been active in four Nangarhar districts at the start of 2016, down from a high of six districts in the summer of 2015. However IS-Khorasan had been limited to Achin after concerted efforts by the US and Afghan military forces, he said.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Khwargai area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press

AFG177
March 22 2016

♦ 2-8 reported killed

A strike killed at least two alleged Islamic State fighters in eastern Nangarhar, according to the provincial police chief. The militants were reportedly targeted by a US drone in the Janjal Ghondie area at 2pm (9.30am GMT).

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Janajal Ghondie area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News

AFG178
March 22 2016

♦ 5 reported killed

Another US strike in Nangarhar province killed a further five alleged IS-Khorasan fighters, the district governor told Afghan media. Haji Ghalib Mujahid said the attack hit late in the afternoon and killed an unnamed local commander apparently while he was riding a horse.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG178Ci
March 25 2016
♦ 20 reported killed

The first of three strikes on March 25 that may have been conducted by the US Air Force. However the sources are ambiguous as to who was responsible for the strikes.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Marjah district, Helmand province
References: Anadolu Agency, Xinhua, Khaama Press

AFG178Cii
March 25 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

The second of the three possible US strikes in Helmand.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Marjah district, Helmand province
References: Anadolu Agency, Xinhua, Khaama Press

AFG178Ciii
March 25 2016
♦ 73 reported killed

The third of three possible US strikes in Helmand.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Nad Ali district, Helmand province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG179
March 26 2016
♦ 11 reported killed

Eleven alleged Islamic State fighters were killed in a US strike in Nangarhar. However it was not immediately clear whether it hit in Achin or Mamand Dara district.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Mamand Dara or Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Frontier Post, Khaama Press

AFG179C
March 27 2016

♦ 11 reported killed

It is not clear if this attack was a new strike or in fact a report of the strike on the previous day with the incorrect date.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency

AFG179Ci
March 28 2016
♦ 13 reported killed

A strike killed 13 Taliban fighters in Dasht e Archi district, however it was ambiguously sourced in a news report so was not initially included in the data. Xinhua, via IANS, quoted an unnamed Afghan police source as saying: “Aircraft conducted several sorties against Taliban hideouts at 6.00 a.m. (local time) in Dasht e Archi district on Monday.”

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Dasht e Archi district, Kunduz province
References: Xinhua

Afghan Air Force strike
March 28 2016
♦ 8 reported killed
♦ 13 reported injured

An Afghan Air Force strike in Nuristan left eight alleged Taliban fighters dead and 13 injured.

Type of attack: AAF strike
Location: Du Aab district, Nuristan district
References: Pajhwok


April 2016

AFG180
April 5 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Six Islamic State fighters and a commander were reported killed by a US strike in the early hours of April 5.

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani, said the strike hit a vehicle and a motorcycle and killed a commander, Abulhai.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG181
April 7 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Four alleged Islamic State fighters were killed in a US drone strike according to Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG182
April 7 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

Three Taliban fighters were killed in the second US drone strike of the day in Nangahar, according to the governor’s spokesman Ataullah Khogyani.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Dehrawood district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG183
April 7 2016
♦ 14-21 reported killed
♦ 14-21 civilians reported killed

At least two US air strikes in the southern Paktika province killed between 14 and 21 people. The dead were either all terrorists or all civilians, depending on the source.

Afghan district and provincial politicians went on record accusing the US of killing civilians as they gathered for a meeting to resolve a local dispute. The UN reported two strikes killed 17 civilians, the first hit a civilian vehicle in Naimat village killing 12 and the second in the Chamtovi area killing five.

The US however denied civilians were harmed. On July 26 a spokesperson told the Bureau: “US Forces Afghanistan conducted a Civilian Casualty Credibility Assessment Review Board, or CCARB, into the allegations and are confident that US forces did not kill any non-combatants. During the inquiry, investigators reviewed the results of intelligence collection prior to, and after the strike.”

Immediately following the strike, and first allegations of civilian harm, a US military spokesperson told Reuters the two strikes were aimed at insurgent targets and that there was no evidence that civilians were killed. Afghan security officials including the provincial police chief and the Afghan MoD said all those killed were either Taliban or al Qaeda.

A local news outlet reported a list of names of the dead, compiled and published by the Taliban. The dead were all civilians and tribal elders after the strike targeted their vehicles, Nunn Asia reported. The Bureau has translated and reproduced the list below:

Name
Son of
1 Ameer Mohammad Haji Saeeb Adam
2 Akhtar Haji Dangar
3 Mateen Peero
4 Haji Khan
Wazir
5 Abdul Qadim
Mohammad Kareem
6 Rozuddin Zainuddin
7 Mohammad Rasool
Haji Degan
8 Ghaziuddin Mohammad  Gul
9 Ahmad Shah
Payo
10 Malik Gula Jan
Malik Kamaluddin
11 Jan Gul
Malik Masoud
12 Hussain Bakht Jamal
13 Mohammad Qasim
Eid Gul
14 Malik Sher Zaman
Haji Abdul Rahman
15 Noorullah Shah
Mohammad Rasool
16 Malik Badroo
Malik Khan Mohammad
17 Yaar Mohammad
Zahir Khan
18 Gul Zaman
Mohammad Khan

 

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Nematabad area, Gomal district, Paktika province
References: Reuters, New York Times, Al Jazeera, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Foreign Policy, UN, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG183C
April 9 2016
♦ 25 reported killed

US drones hit a convoy in Kandahar killing 25, according to a report in Khaama Press attributed to the provincial police spokesman. The report said a three-vehicle convoy was hit in a night strike and “suspected militants and drug smugglers” were killed.

However a week after the reported attack, a US military spokesman in Kabul denied any such attack happened, telling the Bureau: “We cannot find an incident that matches the description of [the] report.”

This incident has been removed from our tally and database however remains here as a reference point for further investigation.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Maiwand district, Kandahar province
References: Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG183Ci
April 14 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

A US drone attack killed six Taliban fighters, including a commander Syed Umar, according to the provincial police spokesman Lt Col Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal. He the men were traveling in a vehicle when the drone struck.

However in the week following the strike a US spokesman told the Bureau the US only hit Achin district on April 14.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG184
April 14 2016
♦ Unknown killed

A US military spokesman in Kabul told the Bureau: “US forces conducted counter-terrorism strikes in Achin District, Nangarhar Province, April 14. For operational security reasons, we do not discuss the details of counter-terror operations, including type of strike or casualty assessments.” It was not immediately clear how many strikes hit Achin on this day.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG185
April 19 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

US drones reportedly struck a house in the Shadal locality of Achin district killing five Islamic State fighters, a provincial official said.

Attaulllah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, said the strike hit a house where the fighters were hiding.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: KUNA, Afghanistan Times, Pajhwok

Afghan Security Forces engagement
April 20 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Six alleged Taliban fighters were killed by Afghan security forces in a ground engagement in the 27th Wyala area of Ghanikhel district, the provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told the Bureau. The attack was initially reported as an air strike.

Location: 27th Wyala area, Ghanikhel district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Afghan official via telephone

AFG186
April 20 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Four alleged Islamic State fighters were killed in an airstrike in Achin district, the provincial governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told Pajhwok. It was not immediately clear if the attack was by the US or Afghan Air Force however Khogyani subsequently told the Bureau it was a US attack.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Afghan official via telephone

Afghan Air Force strike
April 27 2016
♦ At least 1 reported killed

The Afghan Air Force killed a Haqqani Network member in a strike near Shahr e Safa city, the Ministry of Defence said.

Type of attack: AAF strike
Location: Shahr e Safa district, Zabul province
References: Khaama Press

AFG186C
April 28 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

US drones killed at least three people in Khost province, according to an unnamed local Afghan official. A named resident said the bodies of those killed were charred beyond recognition. The attack hit a moving vehicle meaning it is highly likely to have been a US air attack as opposed to an Afghan air attack. However the sourcing is too vague to confirm it as a US strike and include it in the casualty tally as yet.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Lakan area, Khost city, Khost province
References: Pajhwok

AFG187
April 28 2016
♦ 15 reported killed

A reported US drone strike killed 15 alleged Islamic State fighters in an attack in Nangarhar. The strike hit a hideout at night.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Narai Obam area, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG188
April 30 2016
♦ 38 reported killed

Afghan and US air forces conducted between seven and nine strikes in eastern  Nangarhar province, killing approximately 38 people.

There were between seven and nine air attacks in the eastern province targeting “anti-government armed militants,” according to the provincial governor’s spokesman, Ataullah Khogyani. Five of the attacks hit in Haska Mena and Chaparhar districts and were US drone strikes, he told the Bureau.

He had earlier told Khaama Press air attacks in those districts had killed 38 people – 15 in Haska Mina and 23 in Chaparhar. He also said infighting between armed factions left 19 dead and five wounded.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Chaparhar and Haska Mina, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Afghan official via email


May 2016

Afghan Air Force strike
May 7 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

The Afghan Air Force killed five alleged Taliban fighters in Kunduz province, according comander of the 20th Pamir division – the army unit responsible for northeastern Afghanistan.

General Mohiuddin Ghori told Pajhwok the strike hit a vehicle carrying insurgents in Qasab village.

Type of attack: AAF air strike
Location: Chardara district, Kunduz province
References: Pajhwok

AFG189
May 7 2016
♦ 0-1 reported killed
♦ 2-3 reported injured
Reported friendly fire incident

A US strike caused three casualties – all policemen, including the district police chief, according to the Bureau’s sources in the province. Either two were injured and one killed, or all three injured and no-one killed depending on the source.

A spokesperson for the US-led coalition in Afghansitan confirmed it had conducted the strike. “Our initial reports are that the ground element initiated contact by firing on Coalition forces before being engaged,” a spokesperson told the Bureau. “We are currently investigating the incident and will provide additional information as available.”

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Khanashin district, Helmand province
References: US Forces Afghanistan via email, Bureau sources

AFG190
May 9 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

A US drone strike killed several Taliban fighters including a senior commander in Kunduz province, the district governor Zulmai Farooqi said.

The Washington Post reported a dozen Taliban died whereas Xinhua said seven were killed. The dead were travelling in a car at the time which reportedly belonged to the Afghan National Police.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Chardara district, Kunduz province
References: Washington Post, Xinhua

May 10 2016

An Afghan air force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft flies over Afghanistan during a training mission, April 6, 2016. NATO Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air works daily to assist the Afghan air force in improving its capabilities. Air Force photo by Capt. Eydie Sakura
An Afghan Super Tucano over Afghanistan (Capt Eydie Sakura/US Air Force)

US officials told journalists Afghan Super Tucano light attack aircraft had flown more than 260 missions since January.

The sorties were “supporting operational and training missions” – some were close air support missions but the US did not say how many. The Afghan Air Force had received four A-29 Super Tucanos in January; they became operational on April 1. A further four had been delivered since April and were expected to be operational in June. The A-29s conducted their first independent strike operation in Badakhsan on April 14.

Location: Kabul, Afghanistan
References: Military.com

AFG191
May 12 2016
♦ 1 reported killed
♦ 1 reported injured

A US strike hit a vehicle in Pacheragam district, Nangarhar, 10.30am (6am GMT). The attack killed Amin Jan, the Taliban shadow district governor, and injured a bodyguard.

However US forces in Afghanistan said it was a counter-terrorism strike. US rules in Afghanistan mean they can only specifically target al Qaeda and ISIS in counter-terrorism strikes. A US spokesperson told the Bureau, in an email: “For operational security reasons, we do not discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations,” the spokesperson added.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Zarmakhel area, Pacheragam district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG191Ci
May 15 2016
♦ 8 reported killed

A possible US or Afghan air strike killed eight Islamic State fighters, according to “a local security official” who spoke to Afghan news agency Khaama Press on the condition of anonymity.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG192
May 16 2016

♦ 3 reported killed

A US drone strike killed a “notorious commander of the Islamic State” according to the Afghan army corps responsible for Kunar province and the Kunar provincial police spokesman.

Shafiq Abbas was killed in the attack. He was described both as a local Taliban commander and IS commander, and involved in terrorist attacks in Watapor district.

The Afghan Ministry of Defence tried to claim the strike was conducted by the Afghan Air Force but this was contradicted by the US military headquarters in Kabul who told the Bureau US forces launched a strike in Gandeel on May 16 “against individuals threatening the force”.

“Additional information is not available about [this] operation,” the spokesperson added.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Gandeel area, Watapor district, Kunar province
References: Pajhwok, Afghan Islamic Press, Khaama Press, TOLO News, Anadolu Agency, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG192C
May 16 2016

♦ 20 reported killed

A US drone strike left 20 Taliban dead in northern Kunduz, the provincial police chief and his spokesman told journalists. However the US headquarters in Kabul told the Bureau they “have no information to support allegations” of this attack. The strike and casualties have been removed from data tallies.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Mullah Qoli area, Dasht e Archi district, Kunduz province
References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG193
May 17 2016
5 reported killed

Five people were killed in a US drone strike in the southern Zabul province, all of them said to be members of al Qaeda. The attack reportedly killed Mullah Mohammad Ali, a leading figure in al Qaeda.

The strike was reported by Afghan Special Force headquarters in Kabul and the Afghan Ministry of Defence in statements. A spokesperson for US forces in Afghanistan confirmed it was a US attack, saying in a statement: “We can confirm that US Forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike in the Shah Joyi district, Zabul province, May 17. For operational security reasons, we do not discuss the details of counter-terrorism operations.”

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Shahjoy district, Zabul province
References: Fox News, Anadolu Agency, Khaama Press, Pajhwok, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG193C
May 18 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

A vaguely sourced report said four Taliban fighters were killed in a drone strike. The attack was credited to an “official”.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Dasht e Archi district, Kunduz province
References: IANS/Xinhua

AFG193Ci
May 18 2016
8 reported killed

Eight Taliban fighters were reported killed in a US drone strike in Ghazni province by the provincial police chief. However the US headquarters in Kabul said it had “no information to support allegations” of this strike. It has been removed from the data tallies.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Gilan district, Ghazni province
References: Pajhwok, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG194
May 18 2016
1 reported killed

The US conducted a strike “against individuals threatening the force,” a US spokesperson told the Bureau. This was the second strike of the morning to hit Ghazni, according to the provincial police chief Brigadier Aminullah Amarkhel. However the US said it had “no information to support allegations” of the first strike (see above).

This attack reportedly killed Ab Band shadow district governor Mohammud Muzmail and hit at approximately 5am (12.30am GMT).

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mohammad Ghous area, Ab Band district, Ghazni province
References: Pajhwok, US forces – Afghanistan via email

Map by Sarah Leo.
Map by Sarah Leo.

May 21 2016
A US military drone strike in Pakistan killed the leader of the Afghan Taliban, Mullah Akhtar Mansour. The attack was characterised as a force protection strike rather than a counter-terrorism operation in a statement by President Barack Obama.

He said by killing Mansour, the US had “removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan people, and align itself with extremist groups like al Qaeda.”

The attack was the first to hit Pakistan’s Balochistan region, which has been the home of the Afghan Taliban leadership shortly after the group was ejected from Afghanistan in 2001 by the US invasion. The strike was a departure from the US’s normal policies because, hitherto, all strikes had been conducted by the CIA and not the military.

Read the full entry in the Bureu’s Pakistan database.

Location: Balochistan, Pakistan
References: White House, The Bureau

AFG195
May 22 2016
13 reported killed

A US drone strike killed 13 people in Kunduz city, the local army commander told Pajhwok.

The strike hit a vehicle killing alleged Taliban fighters, including two commanders, General Sher Aziz Kamawal said. The dead militants were said to be on their way to Imam Shaib district of the city.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Asqalan area, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: Pajhwok

AFG196
May 22 2016
9 reported killed

Nine alleged IS fighters were killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province, according to Attaullah Khoghyani, the spokesman for the provincial governor. The dead were said to be Pakistani nationals. One, a commander, was identified as Abdullah.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Karkani area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

Afghan Air Force strike
May 23 2016
“Several” reported killed

An Afghan strike killed the Taliban shadow governor for Helmand two days after the US killed the Taliban’s supreme leader in a strike in Pakistan, according to provincial security officials.

Mullah Manan (aka Muzamil) was mortally wounded in the night strike and died of his injuries, according to General Agha Noor Kentoz, the provincial security chief.

Initial reports said it was not clear if the US  or Afghan forces conducted the attack. However a US spokesperson in Kabul told the Bureau there were no reports of “strikes in Helmand resulting in enemy KIA [killed in action]”.

Type of attack: AAF strike, ground operation
Location: Marjah district, Helmand province
References: Stars and Stripes, Khaama Press, US forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG197
May 26 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

At least six alleged ISIS fighters were reported killed in a strike on “a bomb-rigged car”. The provincial government spokesman said the strike hit the vehicle after it had crossed into Afghanistan from the Pakistani tribal agency of Orakzai. The Afghan MoD confirmed six ISIS fighters had died in a strike in Achin.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sarobi village, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG198
May 26 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Four alleged ISIS fighters were killed, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman, in the second strike of the day. A commander was said to be among the dead.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Pirakhel village, Wazir district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG199
May 26 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

Nangarhar police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqwal said two ISIS fighters were killed in a strike in Kot.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG200
May 26 2016

♦ 7 reported killed
♦ At least 2 reported injured

The Wall Street Journal reported three drone strikes in the evening of May 26th 2016, in the village of Elbak in Kandahar province. The drone strikes were preemptively targeting Taliban forces in the village ahead of US aircraft landing in the area. Drone missiles killed seven Taliban “suspects” and injured an unspecified number.

Type of action: US drone strike
Location: Elbak area, Kandahar province
References: Wall Street Journal

AFG200C
May 28 2016
♦ 2 reported killed
♦ 6 reported injured

At least two Taliban group leaders were reportedly killed in an airstrike in northern Sar-e-Pul province of Afghanistan. The report did not specify whether it was a US or Afghan strike.

The strike was reported to target a group of Taliban insurgents who had gathered to organise a funeral for the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor who was killed in a US airstrike on May 21 2016. However Mansoor’s remains were not surrendered to his surviving relatives in Afghanistan until May 31.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Zabiullah Amani said six other Taliban insurgents were also wounded.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Kata Qala village, Suzma Qala district, Sar e Pul province
References: Khaama Press

AFG201
May 29 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

An Islamic State commander was reported killed alongside five other IS militants in a drone strike in Nangarhar province. Police spokesman Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said the drone hit an IS hideout.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kangari Kando, Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

AFG202
May 29 2016
♦ 17-22 reported killed

US drone strikes killed at least seventeen Taliban fighters in Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan.

US Air Force Captain Matthew Chism, a spokesman in Kabul, said in a statement the strikes were carried out “against individuals threatening the force”. A Kandahar police spokesperson said at least twenty-two Taliban militants were killed. However a statement from the MoD said it was just seventeen.

The drones reportedly targeted Taliban hideouts in Kata Sang in an on going operation to clear and reopen the Kandahar-Uruzgan highway, which was under Taliban control.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kata Sang, Shah Wali Kot district, Kandahar province
References: Stars and Stripes, Pajhwok, Anadolu Agency

AFG203
May 29 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

Two Taliban members were reportedly killed in a US drone strike in the De Bala district, Nangarhar province, according to an Afghan special forces statement.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: De Bala district, Nangarhar province
References: Anadolu Agency, Pajhwok

AFG204
May 29 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

An IS commander, Mujahid, and his bodyguard were killed in a US airstrike in the Maidan Wardak province in central east Afghanistan, according to the defence ministry spokesman.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sayedabad district, Maidan Wardak province
References: Anadolu Agency, Pajhwok


June 2016

AFG205
June 2 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

A “Nato airstrike” killed 10 Taliban fighters including their commander, Omari, according to the deputy chief of the provincial police Colonel Abdul Rauf Masood.

The attack hit at 2pm (9.30am GMT) and the bodies of the dead were handed over to local tribal elders, Masood added.

A resident of Gayan district, Kamal Gayanwal, told Pajhwok Omari was an important local commander. “There are no government officials in the district. This area has turned into a big centre of Taliban. Omari’s men were involved in every security incident that took place in neighbouring districts,” he said.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kharkot area, Gayan district, Paktika province
References: Pajhwok

AFG205C
June 8 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

An airstrike killed at least five al Qaeda fighters, according to Dawlat Waziri, the Afghan defence ministry spokesman. It was not clear if it was a US or Afghan strike.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Paktika province
References: Khaama Press

AFG206
June 8 2016
♦ 2 reported killed
♦ Possible civilian casualties

A US drone strike killed a senior figure in the Haqqani Network in a night strike in Paktika province, according to the governor’s office and the provincial police.

Sirajuddin Khademi was described as a “key” commander in the Haqqani Network, an insurgent group and narcotics trafficking syndicate. He was a “logistics leader and member of the Quetta Shura,” the Taliban’s ruling council, according to Pajhwok.

The Taliban rejected Khademi had been killed, claiming the strike killed three civilians in a car.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sar Rawza district, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press, The News, Pajhwok, Twitter, Taliban propaganda, Twitter, Daily Times, Express Tribune, Dawn, TOLO News

AFG206C
June 8 2016
♦ 7 reported killed

A possible strike killed seven people. It was reported by the Afghan ministry of defence but it was not clear if it was a US or Afghan strike.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Ghazni province
References: The News

AFG206Ci
June 8 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

A possible strike killed five people. It was reported by the Afghan ministry of defence but it was not clear if it was a US or Afghan strike.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: The News

AFG207
June 11 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Six Taliban fighters were killed in a US drone strike in the eastern province of Nangarhar, according to Ataullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman. The strike targeted a vehicle.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sargardan area, Hesarak district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama

AFG208
June 11 2016
♦ 11 reported killed
♦ 0-3 civilians reported killed

Eleven people were killed in a US drone strike in Logar province, according to a provincial councilor and the governor’s spokesman. However they could not agree on the identities of the dead. Salim Saleh from the governor’s office said all the dead were Taliban – they were killed when the vehicle they were travelling in was hit. However Abdul Wakil, councilor and resident in Azara where the strike hit, said three civilians were also killed. He could not explain why they were in the same vehicle as eight Taliban fighters.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Azara district, Logar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG209
June 11 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Six Taliban fighters were killed in an overnight strike in Hesarak district, Attaullah Khogyani told Pajhwok. They were killed as they drove through the district.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Ghwagezai area, Hesarak district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG210
June 14 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

Between 10 Islamic State fighters, including three commanders, were killed in a drone or air strike on an IS “hideout” in Nangarhar, acording to the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Karkani area, Achin ditrict, Nangarhar province
References: Afghan Islamic Press, Khaama Press, Nangarhar administration via email

AFG211
June 15 2016
♦ 21 reported killed

A US attack killed 21 IS fighters in Achin, Nangarhar, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman. The attack hit at around 9pm local time (5.30pm BST) and killed some Pakistani fighters, the spokesman added.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Karkani area, Achin ditrict, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Nangarhar administration via email

Afghan Air Force strike
June 14 2016
♦ 36 reported killed

Approximately 36 alleged IS fighters were killed in Afghan airstrikes in Nangarhar, the Afghan defence ministry reported.

Two attacks were reported in Achin district, the first killing 15 and the second killed 21 The strikes were conducted in addition to ground operations by Afghan troops.

Type of attack: AAF strikes
Location: Achin district, Nanarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG211C
June 17 2016
♦ 7 reported killed

An unnamed “senior border police commander” in eastern Afghanistan said seven IS fighters were killed in a US strike in Nangarhar.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Bakhtar News Agency

AFG212
June 18 2016

♦ 8 reported killed

The spokesman for “20th Pamir Zone” regional army command told journalists a US drone strike killed eight Taliban in a night-time strike on a vehicle in Nangarhar’s Dasht e Archi district.

Lieutenant Colonel Ghulam Hazrat Karimi said the drone strike killed Qari Haleem (aka Qari Ali), a local Taliban commander who Karimi said played a leading role in the Taliban take-over of the district in 2015.

The Ministry of Interior said an airstrike on this day killed Qar Haleem however it did not specify whether it was US or Afghan strike.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Taraki area, Dasht e Archi district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press

AFG213
June 18 2016
♦ 23-27 reported killed

A US counter-terrorism drone strike in Nangarhar targeted IS fighters in the province’s Achin district, according to Brigadier Charles Cleveland, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan.

The attack killed at least 23 fighters according to the local military command. There were “some foreign IS fighters among the dead [but] there were no civilian casualties” the provincial governor’s spokesman added.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Stars and Stripes, Khaama Press, Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike
June 21 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Six IS fighters were reported killed in an Afghan airstrike in Nangarhar. Pahjwok also reported that arms and munitions were destroyed during the operation.

Type of attack: AAF strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pahjwok, Khaama Press

AFG214
June 21 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

A US drone strike killed five Taliban fighters – a commander, Gul Khan (aka Khanjar), and his four bodyguards, local officials told journalists. The attack hit a hideout at around midday.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Moghul Qeshlaq village, Imam Sahib district, Kunduz province
References: Xinhua, Afghan Islamic Press, Khaama Press, TOLO News

AFG214C
June 21 2016
♦ 18 reported killed
♦ 8 reported injured

At least 18 people were reported killed in a possible US or Afghan air strike.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Garizwan district, Faryab province
References: Khaama Press

AFG215
June 22 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Four alleged IS fighters were killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province, the governor’s spokesman said. The attack hit late in the afternoon and destroyed weapons and ammunition.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Pir Shah Khelo area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press

AFG215C
June 23 2016
♦ 72 reported killed

US strikes reportedly killed 72 people in Nangarhar. This incident is not counted in the Bureau tally as yet, because its sourcing is uncertain. The death toll is unusually high for single-source event.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Achin and Kot districts, Nangarhar province
References: Xinhua

AFG216
June 23 2016
♦ 7 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

Seven Taliban were killed by in two US drone strikes, according to Nangarhar governor’s spokesman.

Attaullah Khogyani told Pajhwok the night strikes hit Rahmati and Marsing areas, destroying a car, a motorcycle and other equipment.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Rahmati and Marsing areas, Lal Pura district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG217
June 24 2016
♦ Unknown killed

The US carried out its first airstrikes against the Taliban since new rules were introduced allowing the US Air Force to target the insurgent group directly.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said “there have been operations carried out with these new authorities” in southern Afghanistan and that “it’s fair to say that these strikes did target Taliban positions.” He would not say how many strikes hit, how many people were killed, or specifically where the strikes hit.

A spokesperson for US forces in Afghanistan would not be drawn on these details either. He told the Bureau: “The new authorities allow us to use combat enablers, most notably U.S.-only airstrikes in circumstances where the Afghans could possibly achieve a strategic effect. Because these effects are at the strategic level, we don’t want to say anything that might indicate Afghan intentions.”

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Southern Afghanistan
References: AFP, Reuters, TOLO News

June 24 2016

An Afghan army soldier provides security from a guard tower during meetings at the Khyber Border Coordination Center near Torkham Gate at the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in Afghanistan's Nangarhar province, Jan. 4, 2015.
Afghan soldier on guard in Nangarhar (US DoD)

At least 131 IS fighters were reported killed by Afghan security forces and airstrikes in clashes in the eastern province of Nangarhar, which runs along the border with Pakistan.

“Nearly 36 Daesh rebels were killed in face-to-face battle with security forces, 95 others were killed in airstrikes. The clashes still continue [in Kot],” the provincial governor told TOLO News.

Eight civilians – three women and four children – were also killed, according to the governor’s spokesman. Seven Afghan soldiers perished.

The fighting began on June 24 after hundreds of IS fighters reportedly attacked a security forces’ outpose in Kot.

US, Afghan and Taliban forces had all been fighting the nascent Afghan branch of the so-called Islamic State group. Kabul’s security forces and the Taliban took the fight to the group, made up of former Afghan and Pakistani Taliban factions, since it declared its loyalty to IS in 2015.

The US joined the fight in January 2016 after President Obama gave permission for the US to start targeting the group under counter-terrorism rules. Hitherto, the counter-terrorism mission in Afghanistan had been limited to attacking al Qaeda targets.

Type of attack: AAF strikes, ANA ground operations
Location
: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: RFE/RL, Xinhua, TOLO News

AFG218
June 25 2016
♦ 7-16 reported killed
♦ 0-15 civilians reported killed

Two US strikes hit the Chahar Dara district of Kunduz, killing a Taliban commander. Initial reports said the strike also killed up to 15 civilians however the US emphatically denied this.

Exactly what happened is not clear with some claiming the attack hit a Taliban prison, killing at least six people held hostage by the insurgents. Others said the Taliban murdered the six people in revenge for the death of their commander, Mullah Janat Gul, before saying they were killed in the US strikes.

US Forces – Afghanistan confirmed it conducted the two strikes and on July 11 released the following statement:

With regards to your earlier query the incident in Kunduz, I can tell you that US Forces Afghanistan conducted an inquiry into the allegations and are confident that US forces did not kill any hostages or non-combatants during recent strikes in Charadara, Kunduz Province. During the inquiry, investigators reviewed the results of multiple sources of intelligence collection prior to, during, and after the strike. The inquiry specifically included a detailed review of video taken during the strike.

It had not clarified as to whether the intelligence and data it had collected contained evidence of the alternate narrative, that Taliban fighters had killed the civilian hostages in revenge for the death of its commander.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sarak Payin village, Chahar Dara district, Kunduz province
References: Reuters, Bloomberg, Stars and Stripes, Khaama Press, The New York Times, Khaama Press, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG219
June 26 2016
♦ 30 reported killed

Attaullah Khogyani, the Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, said a drone strike killed 30 IS fighters. The attack hit a hideout at 4pm local time (12.00 BST).

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG219C
June 26 2016
♦ 14 reported killed

At least 14 Taliban, incuding a commander, Qari Ghafar, died in an airstrike in Kunduz. It was not clear if it was a US or Afghan strike though the number of US air operations in the province around the time of this attack would suggest it was a US operation.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Chahar Dara district, Kunduz province
References: ANI, Stars and Stripes

AFG220
June 27 2016
♦ 4-16 reported killed

Local security officials said a night-time strike killed at least four Taliban insurgents in Kunduz province. The attack was confirmed by the general in charge of the regional army command.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Chahar Dara district, Kunduz province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News

AFG221
June 28 2016
♦ 14 reported killed
♦ 8 reported injured

“Nearly 15” Taliban fighters including a commander, Mullah Nasim, were reported killed in a join US-Afghan operation in the Hazrat Sultan area of Kunduz city.

Afghan ground forces arrested 17 suspects in the operation. “The foreign troops supported the joint operation from the air,” the Kunduz police chief said.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Hazrat Sultan area, Kunduz city, Kunduz province
References: TOLO News

AFG222
June 29 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

TOLO News reported eight US drone strikes killed more than 50 Taliban fighters in the preceding eight days. This attack, on Gortipa, was one of two strikes on areas not previously listed by the Bureau.

The new rules governing US strikes were reportedly have the desired effect on the Taliban’s capacity to gather to launch attacks. A military official said: “The Taliban are very frightened of U.S air strikes. Their forces cannot remain in any area for more than 10 minutes.”

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Gortipa district, Kunduz province
References: TOLO News

AFG223
June 29 2016
♦ 10 reported killed

TOLO News reported eight US drone strikes killed more than 50 Taliban fighters in the preceding eight days. This attack, on Dasht e Archi, was one of two strikes on areas not previously listed by the Bureau.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Dasht e Archi district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG223C
June 29 2016
♦ 73 reported killed

A vaguely sources report said US and Afghan air strikes had killed at least 73 people in Nuristan province.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Nuristan province
References: Khaama Press


July 2016

AFG224
July 3 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

At least 12 Taliban fighters were reported killed by Gahzni police chief General Aminullah Amarkhail.

He told TOLO News: “Two Taliban commanders and five Pakistani rebels are also among the dead.”

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Ab Band district, Ghazni province
References: TOLO News

AFG225
July 3 2016
♦ 19 reported killed

Two US drone strikes reportedly killed 19 Islamic State fighters in Achin district, the spokesman for Nangarhar police said.

Hazrat Hussein Mashriqiwal said two key IS commanders, Omar Khitab and Mullah Sajid were among the dead. He said Sajid was from Pakistan’s Orakzai province. Attaullah Khugyani, Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, confirmed the two commanders were killed in the night strike, adding that Sajid’s nephew was also killed. Khitab led IS fighters in Kot district and Sajid was in charge of a 50-strong group of armed men.

Sher Aqa Faqiri of the 201 Selab Army Corps said the strikes hit “hideouts” and destroyed weapons and ammunition.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamond and Pekha areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Afghan Islamic Press, Pajhwok

AFG226
July 3 2016
♦ 11 reported killed
♦ 3-5 reported injured

The US targeted a group of Taliban fighters in Nangarhar in a strike on the afternoon of July 3 – the same day at least three other strikes reportedly hit the province.

A commander, Sabir Kochi, was among the dead, according to Attaullah Khugayani. The Taliban confirmed Kochi was killed and said five more gunmen were injured. Kochi was reportedly on his way to meet another Taliban commander, Mullah Nek Mohammed Rahbar, to discus the insurgent group’s fight against IS.

Hazrat Hussein Mashriqiwal, spokesman for the provincial police, said Kuchi was living in Kot where he was responsible for several Taliban attacks.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Wazir region, Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: Afghan Islamic Press, Pajhwok

AFG226C
July 3 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed

A fourth drone strike on July 3 was reported by Pajhwok, in Momand Dara district. There were no other details of this apparent attack.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Momand Dara district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG226Ci
July 4 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

IS fighters and a commander were killed by US drones, according to unnamed “local security oficials”.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG227
July 5 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

A dozen IS fighters were killed in a drone strike in Nangarhar, according to Attaullah Khoghyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman said. It was a night strike

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG226C
July 8 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Four Taliban were killed in a US strike, according to a report by Khaama Press. The article did not specify who was the source for this attack and so has not yet been included in the Bureau’s casualty tally. It is kept here as a reference for further investigation.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG228
July 8 2016
♦ 16 reported killed

A US strike reportedly killed 16 IS fighters, including three of the group’s commanders, the provincial governor’s office said.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG229
July 9 2016
♦ 4-8 reported killed

A senior Pakistan Taliban commander was reported killed in a US drone strike in eastern Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon, the Afghan ambassador to Pakistan, multiple Pakistani officials including the director-general of ISPR, the public relations wing of the Pakistani military.

Umar Khalifa (aka Umar Naray, Khalifa Umar Mansoor or Khalid Khurasani) was leader of a small faction within the Pakistan Taliban (TTP) umbrella, the Tariq Gidar Group..

The US military command in Kabul confirmed its forces conducted a strike in Achin district on July 9 however said “for operational security reasons we do not discuss details of counter-terror operations”.

However four days later the Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook announced the attack had killed Umar Khalifa along with four other people. The attack had targeted a group of Islamic State fighters but had also killed Khalifa, Cook added.

Khalifa was responsible for killing more than 140 Pakistani children and their teachers in an assault on a school in Peshawar in December 2014. The group singled out the school as it belonged to the military, its students were the off-spring of army officers. His group had been added to the US State Department’s list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists in May this year.

Reports began surfacing in the Pakistani press in the days after the strike that Naray had been killed.

The first named official of any country to announce Khalifa was dead was General Asim Bajwa, ISPR director-general. On July 13 he released a brief statement on Facebook claiming the commander of Resolute Support, the US-led Nato mission in Afghanistan had told the top general in the Pakistan military, the Chief of Army Staff or COAS, that Naray has perished in a drone strike.

Resolute Support would not comment on this claim but Peter Cook made his statement shortly after General Bajwa’s Facebook post.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani spoke to Pakistan’s prime minster Nawaz Sharif on July 16, confirming Khalifa was dead.

Afghanistan’s president ambassador to Islamabad then added his voice, saying on July 14 that the Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, had ordered the strike.

Immediate reports of the attack did not identify the dead but did say some of them were foreigners, from Pakistan according to Attaullah Khogyani.

The TTP had not officially commented on the reports of their member’s death. An unnamed commander told DPA: “We will issue a statement once we are in position to confirm or reject the report of his death.” Another commander told Reuters: “It’s a huge loss to the small but most effective Taliban faction of Khalifa Umar Mansoor… There is no such prominent figure of his status to run his organisation.”

Naray’s apparent death is a significant event in the US drone war. Naray was despised in Pakistan for his role in the murderous assault on the school. Parents of some of the victims told Express Tribune of their satisfaction. “God has listened to our grievances and fulfilled our desires,” Tufail Khattak said.

Pakistani terrorists had been using the border region of Afghanistan as a base to launch attacks for years. The area became more important for the groups, such as the TTP, after they were driven from Pakistan’s tribal areas by an army offensive.

The presence of Pakistan Taliban fighters in Afghanistan and the Afghan Taliban in Pakistan – allegedly with the support of the respective governments – has been a sore point for both Kabul and Islamabad. Relations between the two soured in 2015 and 2016 soured as Pakistan appeared either unwilling or unable to compel the Afghan Taliban to sit down and talk peace with the Afghan government.

Abdul Khalique Ali, a Karachi-based political and security analyst, told Anadolu Agency:

It can be a step forward, in my opinion, in terms of improving Islamabad’s strained ties not only with Kabul but Washington as well.
 
It was Pakistan’s longtime demand to target TTP militants operating from Afghanistan and the latest development will certainly work to subdue the trust deficit between the three allies.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamond Dara area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok, Pajhwok, US Forces – Afghanistan via email, Dawn, IANS, Express Tribune, DPA, Anadolu Agency, Reuters, NBC News, AFP, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Khaama Press, Department of Defense, State Department, Express Tribune, Express Tribune, New York Times, Express Tribune

AFG230
July 9 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed

US Forces – Afghanistan confirmed it conducted an airstrike in Kot district of Nangarhar on this day. The command said, in an email to the Bureau:

We can confirm that US forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike in Achin and Kot districts in Nangarhar province July 9. However, for operational security reasons we do not discuss details of counter-terror operations.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via emai

AFG231
July 11 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

A US strike killed four alleged Islamic State members in Nangarhar province, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman. The strike also destroyed a cache of weapons and explosives.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike
July 11 2016
♦ 9 reported killed

Nine alleged Taliban fighters were reported killed in Afghan air force strikes in Nangarhar, according to a provincial official and military officer.

Type of attack: AAF strike
Location: Pira Khel, Morgi, Zhora areas, Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

AFG232
July 13 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

A US drone attack reportedly killed a dozen Islamic State fighters in Nangarhar’s Achin district, accordingto Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman. Nangarhar was the new focusof US and Afghan operations, a shift from Kunduz and Helmand, according to General Nicholson the US commander in Afghanistan.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamond Dara area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News

AFG233
July 13 2016
♦ 26 reported killed

A series of strikes hit various areas of Achin district on the morning of July 13, killing 26 IS fighters, according to the governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani.

Khogyani told the Bureau he could not be more specific about the number of strikes because the US had not given him an exact figure. However the attacks hit Kharawa, Landai and Kochiano-ghondai areas of Achin district. More than half the dead were reported to be foreigners: four Tajiks and 10 Pakistanis from Orakzai tribal agency, across the border from Nangarhar.

One strike reportedly hit an Islamic State radio station, broadcasting propaganda into Nangarhar, Khogyani said. The strike killed “some of those working at the radio station”.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Various areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Bureau researcher

AFG234
July 14 2016
♦ 12 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

At least two strikes in Nangarhar’s Achin district left another 12 IS fighters dead, according to the governor’s spokesman. Achin resident Navid Shinwari said US and Afghan air strikes had increased in frequency recently.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Bandar Khor and Dah Sarak area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Bureau researcher

AFG235
July 14 2016
♦ 4 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

A strike in Peera Khel area of Khohyani district killed four Taliban and injured three more, according to Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Peera Khel area, Khogyani district, Nangarhar province
References: Bureau researcher

AFG235C
July 15 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

“Security sources” said two IS fighters were killed in a US drone strike.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Dawn

AFG236
July 15 2016

♦ 30 reported killed
♦ Possible civilian casualties
♦ “Several” reported killed

As many as 30 people were reported killed in a US strike on a convoy of drug smugglers in a night strike in Helmand province.

The attack hit the convoy as it was travelling a desert area of the province near the border. They were said to be carrying a large number of drugs they intended to take through Chagai district into Iran. The attack reportedly hit at 1am local time (8.30pm GMT). Four Pakistanis were killed in the attack, all from Chagai district, according to Chagai’s deputy commissioner. The Taliban said the dead were civilian traders, transporting goods from Behramcha area of Helmand, and they were attacked in the Reg Shahidan area of Maiwand district

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Reg Shahidan area, Maiwand district, Helmand province
References: Afghan Islamic Press, Dawn, Express Tribune

AFG237
July 16 2016
♦ 15 reported killed

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, Attaullah Khogyani, told Pajhwok 15 IS fighters were killed in a US drone strike in the province’s Nazyano district.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Spin Zaea area, Nazyano district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG238
July 16 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

Attaullah Khoghyani, the Nangarhar governor’s spokesman, reported six IS fighters were killed when drones hit some of the group’s hideouts in Achin district. This was the second reported strike in Nangarhar in two days.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

Afghan Air Force strike
July 16 2016

♦ 20 reported killed

Two Afghan strikes killed around 20 militants in Helmand province, the provincial media office said in a statement.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Lashkargah city and Marjah district, Helmand province
References: TOLO News

AFG239
July 19 2016
♦ Unknown casualties

At least two air strikes hit in Sangin district in the 24 hours up to Wednesday afternoon, Reuters reported.

The US confirmed it conducted the attacks, telling the Bureau “they were conducted under the new authorities that allow us more flexibility in supporting Afghan strategic objectives”. The strikes aided Afghan forces battling insurgents trying to take the Sangin district capital.

The assault was repulsed, according to the Afghan military, though at one point the Taliban claimed to have captured the town.

The death toll from the two US strikes remain unclear and the US headquarters in Kabul would not provide the Bureau with any details. However the Afghan Air Force and ground forces declared they had killed more than 30 Taliban during operations in Sangin, Greshk, Marjah and Nahr e Saraj districts.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Sangin district, Helmand province
References: Reuters, Khaama Press, US Forces Afghanistan via email

AFG240
July 19 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

A US strike killed five IS fighters in Achin district, according to the Nangarhar governor’s spokesman. The night strike hit in the Bandar area of the district.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG241
July 20 2016

♦ 15 reported killed

A second US strike in Achin district in as many days killed 15 Taliban fighters, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

July 22 2016

U.S. Airmen from the 455th Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron’s weapons flight prepare to complete a final check of the weapons on an F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft before it takes off on a combat sortie from Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, July 14, 2015. The F-16 is a multi-role fighter aircraft that is highly maneuverable and has proven itself in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. Members of the Triple Nickel are deployed in support of Operation Freedom’s Sentinel and NATO’s Resolute Support mission. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford/Released)
A US F-16 ready to fly out of Bagram airbase on a strike mission. (USAF/TSgt Joseph Swafford)

Multiple American air strikes hit Nangarhar in July as Afghan and US forces trained their attention once again on the Afghan offshoot of the Islamic State group (IS).

The Bureau recorded at least 23 strikes as of July 22, all but four of them in Nangarhar. The attacks have killed at least 161 people – most of them members of IS, according to Nangarhar provincial officials. However this is undoubtedly an undercount of the true true total with many US strikes going unreported.

The strikes are part of a renewed effort in Nangarhar. It is the third phase of the Afghan military’s Operation Shafuq, as General Nicholson told journalists in Kabul on July 12.

The first phase “was up in the north in Kunduz to defend it. That went well,” he said. The second phase was in southern Afghanistan, in Helmand. And the third phase was to “shift back to the east, to Nangarhar, where again, we’ll use our authorities to assist the Afghans in an offensive proactive manner against the enemy.”

Most of the strikes in July have been conducted under rules governing strikes against al Qaeda and Islamic State. The majority of the attacks reportedly targeted alleged IS members though some strikes hit Taliban fighters.

“The recent US airstrikes there have been conducted under US counter-terrorism authorities, according to Brigadier General Charles Cleveland, Resolute Support Deputy Chief of Staff for Communication. “As you know, we don’t discuss the details of counter-terror operations for operational security reasons.”

One strike killed a leading figure in the Pakistan Taliban, Umar Khalifa (aka Umar Naray, Khalifa Umar Mansoor or Khalid Khurasani), who was responsible for planning the massacre of more than 140 students and teachers at a school in Pakistan in December 2014. US officials in Kabul told the Bureau that while Khalifa had been killed, it was because he had been with four IS fighters who had been targeted.

Location: Afghanistan
References
: US Department of Defence, US Forces Afghanistan via email

AFG241C
July 22 2016
♦ 3 reported killed
♦ 1 reported injured

Pakistani media reported a US strike killed a senior Pakistani terrorist leader in a night strike in Nangarhar.

The attack killed the commander of Lashkar e Islam, Mangal Bagh, in Achin district in a strike late on July 22 or in the small hours of July 22. The media reports attributed the strike variously to “intelligence sources” and “Taliban sources”.

The US headquarters in Kabul told the Bureau they would not confirm Mangal Bagh had been killed. The spokesperson said USAF had conducted multiple strikes in Achin district on July 22 and July 23 but would not comment further as they were “counter-terrorism strikes” (see AFG243 below).

Type of action: Possible US strike
Location: Khoudi Khola area, Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Geo TV, The Nation, Daily Times, The News International, US Forces Afghanistan via email

AFG242
July 23 2016
♦ 8 reported killed

Eight IS fighters were killed in a US airstrike in Nangarhar, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Attaullah Khogyani said an IS commander, Jangal Pacha, was among those killed in a “foreign forces” strike.

Pacha gained a bloody notoriety when a video was released in August 2015 purportedly showing IS fighters forcing men to sit on IEDs before detonating the explosives.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News

AFG242C
July 23 2016

♦ Unknown reported killed

Pajhwok reported 63 IS fighters were killedin operations in Achin and Kot, in Nangarhar. The report was not clear about how many were killed in US strikes, if any.

Type of action: Possible US strikes
Location: Achin and Kot districts, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG243
July 23 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed

The US conducted “multiple counter-terrorism strikes in Achin district,” the US headquarters in Kabul told the Bureau. It was not clear exactly how many, precisely where they hit, or how many people they killed because they were counter-terrorism strikes and therefore “we can’t provide any more details,” a US spokesperson said.

This incident has been recorded in the Bureau database as two strikes until more informaiton becomes available.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces Afghanistan via email

AFG243C
July 24 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

Five “insurgents” were killed in an airstrike, according to the provincial governor’s spokesman. It was not immediately clear whether it was by US or Afghan aircraft.

Type of action: Possible US strikes
Location: Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike
July 26 2016
♦ Up to 23 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

Afghan airstrikes hit Taliban targets in Kunduz province, the Afghan MOD said in a statement. Attacks killed up to 23 Taliban fighters, the statement said, though the Afghan army conducted artillery barrages in the same areas so it is not clear precisely how many died in the air attacks.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Dasht e Archin and Qala e Zal districts, Kunduz province
References: Khaama Press

AFG244
July 26 2016
♦ At least 1 reported killed

The US announced it had killed Hafiz Saeed Khan, the leader of the Afghan branch of Islamic State, or Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP).

On August 12 the Pentagon said the strike was one of several during an offensive in Nangarhar against ISKP between July 1 and July 30. The strike itself was part of a joint US-Afghan operation.

Afghanistan’s ambassador to the US told Reuters earlier that day that Saeed Khan had been killed though he said the strike hit in Kot district, not Nangarhar. ISKP had not commented on reports of their leader’s death, as of August 16.

Saeed Khan was a Pakistani terrorist from Orakzai, one of Pakistan’s seven tribal agencies. He had been a commander in the Pakistan Taliban, or TTP, but swore allegiance to the Islamic State group’s leadership in Iraq and Syria.

“Khan was known to directly participate in attacks against U.S. and coalition forces, and the actions of his network terrorized Afghans, especially in Nangarhar,” the Pentagon said. “Khan’s death affects [ISKP] recruiting efforts and will disrupt [ISKP’s] operations in Afghanistan and the region.”

This was the third time Saeed Khan had been reported killed in a US strike in Afghanistan. The first was in July 2015 and the second was in January 2016 – both strikes hit in Nangarhar, ISKP’s stronghold in Afghanistan.

Type of action: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pentagon, Reuters

AFG245
July 27 2016

♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

A US strike killed at least six IS fighters in a strike on one of the group’s “hideouts” in Nangarhar, according to the provincial police media office and the governor’s spokesman, as US and Afghan ground forces continued an offensive against the group.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Pekhi Kali area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Pajhwok

AFG246
July 27 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

A second US strike killed two IS fighters in Nangarhar, according to the governor’s spokesman and the provincial police.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Milwa Kand area, Nazian district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, TOLO News, Pajhwok

AFG246C
July 30 2016
♦ 25 reported killed

A vaguely sourced report in Xinhua said 25 militants were killed by US drones in Nimroz province.

Type of action: Possible US strike
Location: Charbojak district, Nimroz province
References: Xinhua

Afghan Air Strike
July 30 2016
♦ 6 reported killed

“Warplanes” bombed a Taliban convoy in a noon strike in Kunduz, the provincial police chief told Xinhua. Six were killed.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Qala e Zal district, Kunduz province
References: Xinhua

AFG247
July 31 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed

The US conducted 92 strikes in July, according to data given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson in October.

The Bureau had recorded 29 strikes for this month. The additional 63 strikes were added to the database.

The data provided did not include casualty figures but did include a breakdown of the types of strikes. According to the data, there were 23 strikes conducted under new rules passed in June that gave US forces more freedom to hit the Taliban.

A further 63 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, targeting al Qaeda or Afghanistan’s branch of Isis. The remaining six strikes were conducted using force protection rules that allow the US to take out threats to international forces as well as Afghan forces who are “in extremis”.

Type of action: US drone or air strikes
Location: Unknown
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email


August 2016

Afghan Air Force strike
August 1 2016
♦ 15 reported killed

A reported night strike by the Afghan Air Force killed 15 alleged Taliban fighters in Helmand. This attack hit during heavy fighting between the Taliban and Kabul;’s security forces across the province.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Marja district, Helmand province
References: Pajhwok

AFG248
August 1 2016
♦ At least 2 reported killed

A US strike killed the Taliban’s shadow governor for Helmand and the group’s military head for the Nad Ali district, according to the governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak.

The shadow governor, Abdul Rahim (aka Mullah Manan), and the district commander, Mustaqim, were planning to seize Nad Ali district, Zwak said.

The attack hit in the night of August 1, the same day 60 or 70 ANSF personnel were reportedly missing after a firefight with the Taliban in Nad Ali district.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Zarghoon village, Nad Ali district, Helmand province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
August 2 2016
♦ 13 reported killed
♦ 13 reported injured

The Afghan Air Force killed 13 Islamic State fighters in a strike in Nangarhar, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
August 2 2016
♦ 12-24 reported killed
♦ 35 reported injured

An Afghan strike targeted Taliban fighters in Ghazni province and killed nine commanders, the Ministry of Interior said.

One commander, Mullah Khair Mohammad, was said to have been an intelligence officer in Ghazni’s Aab Band, Qara Bagh and Muqar districts. Another, Maulvi Khalil, was described as a military officer in Afghandab district.

Three Pakistanis were also killed in the attack, the statement said. They were all involved in making bombs and suicide vests, it added. The strike wounded 35 people and either killed 12 or 35, depending on the source.

Six of the commanders were identified:

Mullah Sahib Khan (aka Saliman)
Mullah Khair Mohammad
Mullah Nasratullah (aka Delawar)
Mullah Nasim
Mullah Akmal
Maulvi Khalil

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News, Afghanistan Times

Afghan Air Force strike
August 2 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

An Afghan strike killed five alleged Islamic State fighters, local officials said. They were all Pakistanis, according to local security officials. Two were from Bajaur agency and two were from Orakzai.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Elyas Baba area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
August 6 2016
♦ 20 reported killed

An Afghan strike killed 20 alleged Islamic State fighters, the governor’s spokesman told Afghan media.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike
August 6 2016
♦ 40 reported killed

Afghan air strikes killed as many as 40 Taliban fighters in Kunduz, according to local media.

The attack hit during a protracted gun battle that went on for several hours. The Taliban’s deputy shadow governor and shadow district governor were reportedly killed.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Kunduz province
References: TOLO News

August 10 2016
Afghan and US forces killed around 300 ISKP fighters in an operation in Nangarhar at the end of July, General Nicholson said on August 10.

“Obviously it’s difficult to get an exact count, but what this amounts to is about 25 percent of the organisation at least, and so this represents a severe setback for them,” he said.

US special operations forces had to abandon equipment when they came under “effective” fire from ISKP forces, compelling them to move to a different position with more cover.

BG Cleveland told the Washington Post: “In the course of moving the [collection point] to a safe location, some equipment was left behind… For understandable reasons, the lives of soldiers were not put at risk to recover the equipment prior to the scheduled exfiltration from the area at the already planned conclusion of the operation.”

The equipment was photographed by Islamic State fighters and included a soldier’s identity card, who ISKP claimed to have killed though the Pentagon denied this.

Location: Kunduz province
References: Washington Post, Reuters

AFG249
August 11 2016

♦ Unknown killed

The US conducted at least 25 airstrikes over the course of two weeks leading up to August 11 in Helmand province as it strove to prop up Afghan forces trying to prevent the provincial capital falling to the Taliban.

The strikes killed an unknown number of people and were reported in the second week of August amid mounting concern Lashkar Gah would be the second provincial centre to fall to the Taliban in the past 12 months.

The US was conducting two or three strikes a day, US spokesperson Brigadier Charles Cleveland said.

The Taliban was said to be at the gates of the capital after fighting fierce battles with Afghan forces at the end of July and first week of August. The Afghan security forces had spent the winter replenishing front-line units, replacing leaders and retraining troops. But the Taliban had also reorganised its Helmand units, forming a special commando brigade that used snipers and night-vision equipment.

Reuters reported concerns among Helmand officials that the central government had shifted its attention off Helmand too early and it had allowed the Taliban to threaten taking Lashkar Gah.

On July 29 General Nicholson told reporters the Afghan military’s 2016 offensive had three consecutive phases, the first focused in the north in Kunduz and the second in Helmand targeting the Taliban. By August these two phases had been declared mostly over with focus then put on the final phase, targeting ISKP in Nangarhar.

Type of action: US drone and air strikes
Location: Helmand province
References: The New York Times, Reuters, Associated Press, AFP, The Guardian

AFG250
August 12 2016
♦ 20-25 reported killed
♦ 0-5 civilians reported killed, 0-4 children
♦ 25 reported injured

A US air or drone strike killed 20 “militants” according to the provincial police chief, however a local resident, Aslam, and the Taliban said the strike hit a building killing a doctor and four children.

The police chief, Brigadier Khalilullah Ziaee, said: “The house attacked was a centre of Taliban and there were no civilians at the time.”

Type of action: US drone or air strike
Location: Khoshamand district, Paktika province
References: Pajhwok

AFG251
August 13 2016

♦ 2 reported killed

An evening strike by US forces in Afghanistan killed two ISKP fighters in Nagnarhar, according to the provincial police.

Type of action: US drone or air strike
Location: Pekha area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
August 13 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

An Afghan Air Force strike killed five fighters in Ghor province. The attack was initially reported to be a drone strike though this was subsequently contradicted by an Afghan MOD statement.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Pasaband district, Ghor province
References: Khamaa Press, Xinhua

AFG251C
August 21 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

The Taliban said three of its fighters were killed when a US drone strike hit the Alchin bridge in Kunduz. However the local deputy police chief said the Taliban had damaged the bridge themselves deliberately.

Type of action: Possible US strike
Location: Khanabad district, Kunduz province
References: Pajhwok

AFG252
August 22 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Four IS fighters were reported killed in a US strike in Kot district of Nangarhar, according to the governor’s press officer.

Type of action: US air or drone strike
Location: Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
August 23 2016
♦ 50 reported killed

An Afghan air strike reportedly killed the Taliban shadow governor for the central Ghor province.

The attack hit in Faryab province and killed 50 Taliban, according to the Ministry of Interior.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Sakhi Dad and Tilan villages, Pashton Kot district, Faryab province
References: Khaama Press

AFG253
August 24 2016
♦ Unknown killed

US forces conducted approximately 10 air strikes in Kunduz province from the start of the month and August 24, according to the Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul.

Type of action: US air or drone strikes
Location: Kunduz province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

August 24 2016
The American University of Afghanistan in Kabul was attacked by militants leaving 16 people reported dead and over 50 wounded.

According to witnesses cited in The Guardian, the attackers blew up an outer wall before bursting into the university compound around 7pm on Wednesday 24 August. The attack ended in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Two professors from the same university were kidnapped on August 7. The Pentagon announced on September 8 that US forces had conducted a rescue operation last month but the hostages had not been at the suspected location.

Location: American University of Afghanistan, Kabul
References: The Telegraph, The Guardian, WSJ, BBC, AFP

AFG254
August 25 2016
♦ 24-32 reported killed
♦ 0-8 civilians reported killed

Airstrikes were reported in the Nad Ali district of Helmand, though there were differing claims about what exactly was struck and by whom. Afghan officials told Khaama Press and Voice of America that Afghan forces had hit a Taliban base and a bomb-making factory, killing 24.

Both Khaama Press and Voice of America however cited a Taliban statement which seemed to offer a different account of events. According to the statement, US aircraft had hit a Taliban prison in Nad Ali, killing 22 Afghan army and police. Residents also told VOA that Afghan forces had been killed in the attack.

A spokesman for the US military told the Bureau that two air strikes had been carried out by US forces in Nad Ali on Augusut 25, adding “we are aware of Taliban claims of Afghan casualties, but after a review of all the intelligence related to these strikes, from before, during, and after the strike, we are confident that there were no civilian casualties or captives.”

Officials told Pajhwok news agency that a total of 32 people had been killed, including 17 security personnel. Pajhwok spoke to an Afghan National Army soldier hospitalised after the attack, who told them it had struck a prison where seven soldiers, 11 policemen and eight civilians were being held by the Taliban.

Type of action: US drone or air strike
Location: Nad Ali district, Helmand
References: Khaama Press, Voice of America, Pajhwok, US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG255
August 29 2016
♦ 8-120 reported killed

Four commanders of the Taliban-affiliated Haqqani network were reported killed in a series of US air strikes in a district of Paktia province a few days after it was overrun by militants. A spokesman for the governor of Paktia told Reuters that as many as 120 militants had been killed in the strikes, though the Taliban put the figure at only eight. A spokesman for Nato’s mission in Afghanistan confirmed to Reuters that four airstrikes had been carried out in support of Afghan forces on August 29.

Type of action: US drone or air strike
Location: Jani Khil district, Paktia province
References: Reuters

AFG256
August 30 2016
♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 3 reported wounded

Hazrat Hussain Mashriqwal, a spokesman for the Nangarhar police chief, told Khaama Press that six members of the Taliban were killed and three others wounded in a US strike that hit Lalpora district of Nangarhar province.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Lalpora district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press (Pr)

AFG257
August 31 2016

♦ 17 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence reportedly said that eight US strikes killed 17 ISKP fighters in Deh Bala district of Nangarhar province.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province
ReferencesKhaama Press (Pr)

US Air Force photo/Capt Korey Fratini
US Air Force photo/Capt Korey Fratini

 

AFG258
August 31 2016

♦ Unknown killed

In August, the US conducted 80 strikes in Afghanistan, according to figures given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson.

The data, released on September 14, incorporates the 54 strikes already recorded by the Bureau in August. This entry has been entered into the Bureau’s database to add the remaining 26 strikes to the strike tally.

The US data release did not include casualty estimates however it was broken down into types of strikes. The spokesperson said 30 were conducted under new rules giving US troops greater leeway to target the Taliban, which came into effect in June. A further 30 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, targeting either al Qaeda or ISKP. The remaining 20 were conducted using force protection rules that allow the US to take out threats to international forces as well as Afghan troops who are “in extremis”.

Type of attack: US air or drone strikes
Location: Various
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email


September 2016

AFG259
September 2 2016

♦ 7 reported killed

The Afghan National Directorate of Security issued a press release reporting that a US airstrike had killed seven members of Haqqani Network in Keen Kalai in Spera district, Khost province.

Their vehicle was hit by the strike at 10am (6.30 GMT).

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Keen Kalai, Spera district, Khost province.
References: Khaama Press (Pr)

Afghan Air Force strike
September 3 2016

♦ 9-11 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior reported that 11 foreign Taliban members were killed in an airstrike.

The strike hit Spera district in Khost province and also reportedly destroyed a vehicle carrying ammunition.

The Spera district chief, Mohammad Azim, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the strike was conducted in the Ghorma area of the district on Saturday evening and hit a vehicle carrying foreign insurgents. This report put the casualty figure at 9.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Ghorma area, Spera district, Khost province
References: MoI, Khaama Press, Pajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike
September 5 2016
♦ 13 reported killed
♦ 2-3 reported injured

At least 13 ISIS militants were reported to have been killed in an Afghan Air Force airstrike in Achin district, Nangarhar province.

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani was reported as confirming to media that 13 ISIS militants were killed and three others were injured in the strike.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: KUNA

Afghan Air Force strike
September 7 2016
♦ 8 reported killed
♦ 15 reported injured

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense said an airstrike was carried out in Shigal district, Kunar province. It reportedly killed eight ISIS fighters and wounded 15 others. A building housing the group was also reportedly destroyed.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Shigal district, Kunar province
References: Khaama Press


Battle for Tarin Kot
September 7-19 2016

The Taliban and Afghan security forces, backed up by US air power, were fighting for control of the capital of Uruzgan province in central Afghanistan.

Battles have raged in the town and its environs since the insurgents made a concerted effort to take the town on September 7.

There was a lull in the fighting during Eid on September 12 however fighting continues with the Taliban reportedly maintaining control of several areas inside the town as well as the Kandahar-Urzgan road.

Security forces stationed on the road called on central government for reinforcements and supplies but none came. Local residents told the Bureau the soldiers left their positions when relief did not come.

The US sent air support to help the Afghan forces however it is not clear how many people were killed, or exactly how many strikes were conducted.

Overstretched Afghan security forces struggled to repel the initial assault. Neither the Taliban or government forces have been able to gain the upper hand, though the Taliban appears to be holding ground within the town and on the outskirts.

Officials fled the city to the airport where an Afghan army unit was based – a worrying echo of events in Kunduz in September 2015 when the city fell to the Taliban.

The US did not immediately provide the Afghan ground troops with close air support. There were no international advisors in the city when the Taliban assault began around September 7, the head of the provincial council told Reuters: “If there is no significant air support and ground reinforcement, Tarin Kot will collapse.”

Type of action: Afghan ground operations with US and AAF support
Location: Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province
ReferencesReutersReuters, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, AFP, PTI

AFG260
September 9 2016

♦ Unknown killed

The US reportedly provided the Afghans with limited air support. A US spokesperson in Kabul told a handful of strikes had hit since the start of August (see AFG261 below). Reuters reported at least three strikes hit on September 9.

Type of attack: US air or drone strikes
Location: Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province
ReferencesReuters

AFG261
September 10 2016

♦ 4 reported killed

Provincial governor’s spokesman Mohammad Asif Nang said that at least four militants were killed in a drone strike late on Saturday night in Qarya e Surkh area of Khak e Safid district, Farah province.

He said a hideout of the militants was targeted and that it was likely a commander of the group was among those killed.

Type of attack: US drone strike
Location: Qarya e Surkh area, Khak e Safid district, Farah province
References: Khaama Press

AFG261C
September 10 2016
♦ 2+ reported killed

A US air strike killed “some” Taliban during Afghan ground operations, security officials and residents said.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province
References: Pajhwok

AFG262
September 17 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed

There were several reported US air attacks in Uruzgan through September as the ANSF struggled to hold out against the Taliban. However Resolute Support director of public affairs Colonel Michael Lawhorn told the Bureau there had been nine attacks since August.

“We are not tracking any Resolute Support advisors on the ground in Tarin Kot, but we can confirm that U.S. forces have conducted nine airstrikes since August 1 in support of our Afghan partners in the vicinity of Uruzgan. Eight of those strikes were conducted under US authorities to support Afghan strategic operations and one was under counter-terrorism authorities.”

“Our Afghan partners have conducted a significant number of airstrikes in support of their own forces. I would refer you to the Ministry of Defence for any further information on those strikes,” he added.

Type of attack: US air or drone strikes
Location: Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province
References: US Forces Afghanistan via email

Afghan Air Force strike
September 17 2016
♦ 17 reported killed

An air strike conducted by the Afghan Air Force reportedly killed 17 ISIS loyalists in Mohmand valley, Achin district, Nangarhar province.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Mohmand valley, Achin district, Nangarhar province.
References: Khaama Press

AFG263
September 18 2016

♦ 7-8 reported killed
Reported friendly fire incident

Two US strikes killed eight Afghan policemen in a friendly fire attack, according to Afghan officials.

Both attacks hit a checkpoint in the Saki area of Tarin Kot along the Uruzgan-Kandahar highway. The first attack, late on September, killed one police officer.

The second hit shortly after and targeted “first responders“, people rushing to the scene of the first strike. One official said six people were killed in the second attack, a second official said seven.

“Someone told me to go and collect the body of the policeman martyred in the attack” Torjan told the Wall Street Journal – he goes by one name, like many Afghans. “In the second round, the jets came back from the other direction and bombarded us.”

The regional Highway Police Commander Samunwal Rahimullah Khan told Voice of America: “An airstrike killed one police officer and when seven others returned to the security post, foreign aircraft carried out another raid, killing all of them.”

Khan denounced the attack, saying there were Taliban posts in the surrounding area, Voice of America reported. “We are unable to understand why Americans targeted our policemen,” Khan added.

US spokesperson Brigadier General Charles Cleveland confirmed the US conducted the strike but said the attack targeted “individuals firing on, and posing a threat to” Afghan National Security Forces. “We don’t have any further information on who those individuals might have been or why they were attacking ANDSF [Afghan national defence and security forces].”

“US, coalition, and Afghan forces have the right to self-defence and in this case were responding to an immediate threat,” Cleveland added.

An Afghan official told Reuters they were investigating the attack and were in contact with the Resolute Support coalition headquarters.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Saki area, Tarin Kot, Uruzgan province
References: Reuters, Stars and Stripes, Wall Street JournalVoice of America

AFG263C
September 19 2016
♦ 11 reported killed

An airstrike killed 11 ISKP fighters, according to the provincial police commander. It was not clear if the strike was conducted by the US or Afghan Air Force.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Sepai and Wech Kot, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pahjwok

AFG263Ci
September 19 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

An airstrike killed 3 ISKP fighters, according to the provincial police commander. It was not clear if the strike was conducted by the US or Afghan Air Force.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Karkani area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pahjwok

AFG263Cii
September 19 2016
♦ 15 reported killed

An airstrike killed 15 ISKP fighters, according to the provincial police commander. It was not clear if the strike was conducted by the US or Afghan Air Force.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Papin area, Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pahjwok

AFG264
September 22 2016
♦  7 reported killed

Police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said that seven insurgents were killed by a US air strike in Dastandar area of Kot district in Nangarhar province. They were hit while travelling in a vehicle.

Mashriqiwal said that the strike was one of a number of strikes in Nangarhar province that night.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Dastandar area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG265
September 22 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

Police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said that five ISIS fighters from Pakistan were killed by a US air strike in Spinajai locality, Nazyan district, Nangarhar province.

He said that the strike was one of a number of strikes in Nangarhar province that night.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Spinajai locality, Nazyan district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG266
September 22 2016
♦ 18 reported killed
♦ 6 reported injured 

Police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said that at least 18 Taliban members were killed in a US strike in the Tawar Tangi area of Hesarak district in Nangarhar province. He said that six others were wounded in the strike. 

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Tawar Tangi, Hesarak district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG267
September 24 2016
♦ Unknown killed

US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn told the Bureau: “We can confirm that US Forces conducted two air strikes recently in Bermal district, Paktika province, on Sept. 24 and 25.”

Colonel Lawhorn said that one air strike was conducted under “counter terrorism authorities” and the other air strike was conducted “in defense of friendly forces”. No further details were given for “operational security reasons”.

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika province
References: US Forces Afghanistan via email

AFG267C
September 24 2016
♦ Unknown killed

Reports surfaced that a possible US air strike on September 24 in Bermal district of Paktika Province killed Raeas Khan, also known as Azam Khan Tariq, and his son.

According to AFP, Azam Khan Tariq was the fourth-highest ranking commander in the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which is also known as the Pakistani Taliban. AFP said that he had been working as spokesman for the Mehsud faction of the TTP prior to his death and had a $190,740 bounty on his head. 

Reports however differed on who had conducted the attack that killed Tariq and the nature of the operation. AFP reported that at least ten other militants had been killed in a “border area operation”.

According to VOA, the Afghan Defense Ministry said national forces had conducted operations in Bermal late on Saturday and killed nine suspected militants, including two al Qaeda commanders.

The Afghan Ambassador to Pakistan Dr. Omar Zakhilwal said to Khaama Press that Tariq was killed in an operation by Afghan security forces but did not give additional details.

US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn told the Bureau that US forces had conducted an airstrike on the same date and in the same area (see AFG266 above). The US did not give any additional details for “operational security reasons”. It is not clear if that attack and the strike that killed Tariq were the same. 

Type of attack: Possible US air strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika Province
References: Khaama Press, Pahjwok, VOA, AFP, RFE/RL

AFG268
September 25 2016
♦ Unknown killed

US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman Colonel Michael Lawhorn told the Bureau: “We can confirm that US Forces conducted two air strikes recently in Bermal district, Paktika province, on Sept. 24 and 25.”

Colonel Lawhorn said that one air strike was conducted under “counter terrorism authorities” and the other air strike was conducted “in defense of friendly forces”. No further details were given for “operational security reasons”. 

Type of attack: US air strike
Location: Bermal district, Paktika province
References: US Forces Afghanistan via email

AFG269
September 28 2016

♦ 18-21 reported killed
♦ 15 civilians reported killed
♦ 13-27 reported injured, including at least one child

Fifteen civilians were killed and thirteen others injured, including at least one boy, in a US drone strike in Achin district of Nangarhar province, according to the UN mission in Afghanistan.

“An international military forces unmanned aerial vehicle,” or drone, “conducted an airstrike, reportedly targeting members of ISIL/Daesh, that struck a civilian home killing the 15 civilians,” Unama reported.

“The civilians had gathered in a village to celebrate the return of a tribal elder from the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and were reportedly sleeping in a guesthouse of the elder when the airstrike occurred. Civilian victims of the strike included students and a teacher, as well as members of families considered to be pro-Government. Government sources report that ISIL/Daesh personnel also died in the attack.”

The US confirmed it had conducted a counter-terrorism strike.“I assure you the command understands the seriousness of the allegations and is working as quickly as possible to determine whether there is any basis for these accusations,” a US military spokesperson told the Bureau by email.

According to a Guardian article on December 4, General Nicholson considered banning or restricting UN access to a military base in Kabul as a result of its report. Washington reportedly claims Isis members were killed in the attack and not civilians.

The Bureau spoke to a man named Haji Rais who said he was the owner of the house that was targeted. He said 15 people were killed and 19 others injured, and provided their names (listed below). The Bureau was able to independently verify the identities of those who died.

Name Father Place of origin
Haji Akhtar Mohammad Haji Mohammad Akbar Shadal area, Achin district
Hakmatullah Haji Rais Shadal area, Achin district
Toor Taj Mohammad Shadal area, Achin district
Ishaq Shali Shadal area, Achin district
Gulab Gul Hamad Shadal area, Achin district
Rahman Gul Elyas Shadal area, Achin district
Mamlikat Minar Shadal area, Achin district
Mohammad Lal Noor Mohammad Shadal area, Achin district
Ahmad Shah Subhan Shah Shadal area, Achin district
Abdul Hakim Mir Rahman Sarah Qala area, Deh Bala district
Hamza Abdul Hakim Sarah Qala area, Deh Bala district
Sayed Hussain Abdul Hakim Sarah Qala area, Deh Bala district
Khalilullah Abdul Hakim Sarah Qala area, Deh Bala district
Baryalai Abdul Wakeel Sarah Qala area, Deh Bala district
Sayed Amin Sayed Hakim Sarah Qala area, Deh Bala district

There were conflicting reports regarding who was killed following the attack. Mohammed Ali, police chief of Achin district, told Reuters the strike killed 18 people, including 15 alleged ISKP fighters and three civilians. Provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal said several Islamic State leaders were killed, denying reports noncombatants died.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: AP, Pajhwok, Pajhwok, RFE/RL, Reuters, Reuters, UNAMA, USFOR-A press release, US Forces Afghanistan via email, Reuters, Guardian 

Afghan Air Force strike
September 30 2016
♦ 6 reported killed
Reported friendly fire incident  

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence said that it killed five Afghan soldiers and a police officer in an air strike in Farah province late Friday night.

The ministry said in a statement that the helicopter had used “inaccurate information from ground forces” and fired a rocket at a checkpoint occupied by Afghan security forces.

The strike was reportedly conducted in response to a request for air assistance by Afghan troops that had been attacked by a group of Taliban fighters in the Kanshk area of Bala Balok district.

Type of attack: AAF strike
Location: Kanshk area, Bala Balok
References: Khaama Press, Wall Street Journal, AP

AFG270
September 30 2016

♦ Unknown killed

The US conducted 140 strikes in Afghanistan in September, according to figures given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson. This was a significant increase compared to August, during which the US conducted 80 strikes.

The data, released on October 5, incorporates the 19 strikes already recorded by the Bureau in September. This entry has been entered into the Bureau’s database to add the remaining 121 strikes to the strike tally.

The US data release did not include casualty estimates however it was broken down into types of strikes. The spokesperson said 80 were conducted under new rules giving US troops greater leeway to target the Taliban, which came into effect in June.

A further 30 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, targeting either al Qaeda or ISKP. The remaining 30 were conducted using force protection rules that allow the US to take out threats to international forces as well as Afghan troops who are “in extremis”.

Type of attack: US air or drone strikes
Location: Various
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email


October 2016

AFG271
October 3-7 2016
♦ Unknown killed

In an email exchange with the Bureau, US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman Commander Kevin West said that the US had conducted 12 “air to ground engagements” in Kunduz district, Kunduz province.

Heavy fighting is taking place in Kunduz after the Taliban launched an attack to gain control of the city on October 3.

The US has been assisting the Afghan Forces but Commander West refrained from discussing the specific units or capabilities in the area with the Bureau for “operational security reasons”.

He did say that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are leading the efforts to secure the city and US enablers remain prepared to support.

Type of attack: US air or drone strikes
Location: Kunduz, Kunduz province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG272
October 3 2016
 12 reported killed

A Washington Post article published on October 16 detailed a US air operation that took place on October 3 in Helmand province.

According to Thomas Gibbons-Neff, the author of the article, Afghan officials contacted the US to ask for air support after a district centre, called Nawa-i-Barakzayi, came under attack from the Taliban.

Within an hour, the US sent an armed Predator drone but Col. D.A. Sims, the commanding officer, and his troops could not identify whether the men on the ground were Taliban or Afghan forces.

As a result the decision was taken to strike an adjacent field with one of the drone’s hellfire missiles as a warning shot.

During the efforts to secure the district centre, the US reportedly fired the drone’s second hellfire missile to hit a vehicle surrounded by alleged Taliban. At least two alleged fighters were killed as they ran down a goat path by F16 jets with guided 2.75-inch rockets. Others were killed when Apache gunships arrived on the scene.

An unnamed US officer was quoted as saying: “We killed 12, and the Afghans lost 15.”

Type of attack: US drone and air strikes
Location: Nawa-i-Barakzayi, Helmand
References: Washington Post 

AFG273
October 4 2016
♦ 13 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

Nangarhar governor’s spokesman Attaullah Khogyani told TOLO News on September 4 that a drone strike killed 13 alleged ISIS members and injured two others. The strike reportedly hit Abdul Khail area in Achin district of Nangarhar province.

While Khogyani did not explicitly say that the strike was conducted by US forces, he did say it was a drone strike and the Afghan Air Force do not conduct drone strikes.

Type of attack: US drone strike
Location: Abdul Khail, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News 

Afghan Air Force strike
October 5 2016
♦ 17 reported killed

An Afghan Air Force strike killed at least 17 alleged insurgents in Nawbahar area of Farah province, said military commander Raz Mohammad Oryakhil to Tolo News.

“Many weapons belonging to the insurgents were also destroyed in the airstrike,” he said.

Type of action: AAF strike
Location: Nawbahar area, Farah province
References: TOLO News

AFG274
October 10 2016
♦ Unknown killed

In an email exchange with the Bureau, US Forces – Afghanistan spokesman Commander Kevin West said that there had been a total of six US air strikes in Nangarhar province on 8 October and 9 October. They took place in the Achin and Deh Bala districts.

Type of attack: US drone or air strike
Location: Achin and Deh Bala district, Nangarhar province
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

AFG274C
October 10 2016
♦ Unknown killed

According to TOLO News, the US conducted a strike in Achin district of Nangarhar province on October 10 killing Ghaznawi Orukzai.

They report that Orukzai was a senior leader of Afghanistan’s ISIS. According to the news site, the strike was one of a number of US drone strikes that killed over 40 alleged ISIS fighters in the province.

The number or date of the other strikes is not mentioned, but the US did confirm in an email that they conducted six strikes in the province on October 8 and 9.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Achin, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG274Ci
October 12 2016
♦  27 reported killed

Pajhwok reported a number of strikes in Nangarhar province referencing different sources which they believe killed at least 27 alleged ISIS fighters.

According to Pajhwok, a statement from the Afghan National Army stated that 14 alleged ISIS fighters were killed in a drone attack in the Shadal Bazaar area of Achin district. The date of the strike was not mentioned.

Achin police chief Lt. Col. Ahmad Shah Ahmadi said that seven alleged ISIS fighters were killed in similar strikes in the Bandar area on October 12.

The Nangarhar police headquarters also reported to the news site that 13 alleged ISIS members were killed in a drone strike in the Tarak Ghondai and Sheikh Qala areas of Haska Mina district, which is in Nangarhar province.

The district chief reportedly confirmed the strikes, however said 14 militants were killed and listed apparent different locations for the strikes.

While Pajhwok reported that they were drone strikes conducted by foreign forces and the US is the only county that conducts drone strikes in Afghanistan, the bottom of the article stated that Nangarhar officials frequently claim inflicting heavy casualties. This makes it unclear who is responsible for the strikes.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Nangarhar province
ReferencesPajhwok

AFG274Cii
October 16 2016
♦  30 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence reportedly said that an airstrike in Chinartu district of Uruzgan province targeted the convoy of a top Taliban leader killing at least 30 militants.

Khaama Press reported that the strike killed Haji Lala, who they say was the military commission chief of the group.

The news site did not know if the strike was conducted by the Afghan Air Force or US Forces. It also did not give a date for the strike but published the news on October 16.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Chinartu district, Uruzgan province
References: Khaama Press

AFG274Ciii
October 17 2016
♦  13 reported killed

Khaama Press reported that Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense said a member of Haqqani Network and a member of Al Qaeda had been killed in separate airstrikes in Ghazni province.

The news site then said that two alleged terrorists belonging to Quetta Council, the Afghan Taliban’s leadership council, were also killed.

An additional 9 people were reportedly killed during the operations.

Dates were not given for the airstrikes but the information was published on October 17.

Khaama Press could not say whether the strikes were conducted by US Forces or the Afghan Air Force.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Ghazni province
ReferencesKhaama Press

AFG275
October 17 2016
♦  70 reported killed
♦ 30 reported injured 

The US military confirmed to TOLO News that they conducted a number of strikes in Farah province on October 17.

The US said that it conducted multiple strikes in Farah district in Farah province and four strikes in Bakwah district of the same province in “defence of friendly forces”.

Hassan Shah Frogh, commander of 606 Ansar Police Zone in Farah, told TOLO News that the strikes killed at least 70 alleged Taliban fighters and wounded a further 30.

He added that a number of explosives, a weapons cache and vehicles related to the alleged insurgents were destroyed in the strikes.

Type of attack: US air or drone strikes
Location: Farah and Bakwah districts, Farah province
References: TOLO News 

AFG276
October 19 2016
♦  8 reported killed

Mohammad Haroon Mubrez, a police commander in Parwan province, told TOLO News that a drone strike hit Seyagerd district of Parwan province on October 19.

Local officials told Khaama Press and TOLO News that eight alleged Taliban members, including a senior commander, were killed in the strike.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Seyagerd district, Parwan province
References: TOLO News, Khaama Press 

AFG277
October 22 2016
♦  5 reported killed

Pajhwok News reported that five “uprising members” were killed in a drone strike in Pachiragam district of Nangarhar province on October 22.

An unnamed security official said that the strike hit a “check post” of “uprising forces” killing five people, including the post commander.

It is not clear what is meant by “uprising forces” but it could be referring to the “People’s Uprising Program”. A Wall Street Journal article published in April claimed that over a thousand men, mostly village farmers, were being paid by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security to hold back ISIS under this program. They call it “President Ashraf Ghani’s riskiest attempt to defend rural villages”. 

Attaullah Khogyani, the governor’s spokesman, said the strike occurred in Koz-Pachir village before noon but did not have information regarding the identities of those killed.

Brigadier Charles Cleveland, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, confirmed the US had conducted a counter-terrorism strike in Pachiragam district.

“For operational security reasons, we do not discuss the details of counter-terror operations, but we are not aware of any allegations,” he told Pajhwok.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Koz-Pachir village, Pachiragam district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok, Wall Street Journal 

AFG278
October 23 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

The Pentagon confirmed on November 4 that a “precision strike” conducted by the US on October 23 killed senior al Qaeda leader Faruq al Qatani.

On December 19, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook announced that Bilal al Utabi and Abd al Wahid al Junabi had been killed in the same strike.  It was previously thought that Utabi had been killed in a separate strike conducted on the same day.  

“All three were actively involved in carrying out and plotting terror attacks inside and outside Afghanistan,” Cook said.

Al Qatani has been described as al Qaeda’s leader for northeastern Afghanistan. He had been tasked with re-establishing safe havens for al Qaeda in the country. An unnamed official told Reuters that the US had been trying to find al Qatani for four years and their efforts had involved multiple US agencies. He was added in February to the US list of most wanted terrorists, according to the BBC.

The December 19 press release described Utabi as al Qatani’s deputy and al Junabi as a senior al Qaeda explosives expert.

The US Department of Defense published a press release on October 26 announcing the strikes targeting the above men but noted they were still assessing the results. It added that the US hit what was assessed as “command-and-control locations” in Kunar province following “an extensive period of surveillance”. 

An unnamed US official told Reuters that multiple hellfire missiles were fired against two different compounds simultaneously.

Type of attack: US drone strike
Location: Kunar province
References: US Department of Defense, NBC, BBC, VOA, Reuters, Wall Street Journal, Pentagon statement, Pentagon statement, AFP 

AFG278C
October 24 2016

♦ 4 reported killed

An airstrike reportedly killed at least four “militants” during an Afghan operation in Nangarhar. The provincial government media office is credited with the report however it was unclear if it was a US or Afghan strike.

Type of attack: Possible US strike
Location: Pachir Aw Agam district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

AFG279
October 28 2016
♦ 2-4 reported killed
♦ 2-4 civilians reported killed
♦ 0-30 civilians reported injured

An airstrike in Nangarhar province hit the home of Mawlawi Mohammad Alam, a Taliban commander in Sherzad district, according to Attaullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

Khogyani told Reuters that there were civilian casualties as a result, although he did not know how many.

An unnamed police official said an “unmanned aircraft” carried out the strike killing four people inside the house.

Najibullah Kamawal, the director of provincial health services, said that seven children and five women were taken to the local hospital. Four of them were in a critical condition.

The Taliban also said that civilians had been killed in the attack. A statement from the group claimed that US and Afghan forces conducted a ground operation targeting Alam’s home, followed by an airstrike, which killed two civilians and wounded a further 30.

The US did say it conducted a strike in Sherzad on October 28 in defence of “friendly forces” and is investigating the reports of civilians casualties, according to an email exchange with Reuters.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Sherzad district, Nangarhar province
References: Reuters

AFG280
October 28 2016
♦ 5 reported killed

A US drone strike killed five “insurgents” according to the Kunar governor’s spokesman. The attack hit in Ghaziabad district late on October 28, Abdul Ghani Musamin said.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Aligal village, Ghaziabad district, Kunar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG280C
October 30 2016
♦ 25 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense said on October 30 that at least 25 insurgents were killed in a strike on Sherzad district in Nangarhar province, according to Khaama Press.

It was unclear whether the strike had been carried out by US or Afghan forces. The date of the strike was also not mentioned.

The US conducted a strike in the same district on October 28 which reportedly resulted in civilian casualties.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Sherzad district, Nangarhar province
ReferencesKhaama Press

AFG280Ci
October 30 2016
♦ 19 reported killed
♦ 8 reported wounded

At least 19 alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba fighters were killed and eight others wounded in airstrikes in Dangam district of Kunar province, the Afghan government said on October 30. The news was reported by The Hindu.

The strikes hit Airogoi village destroying some weapons belonging to the group.

It was unclear if the US was involved in the strikes. The date of the strike was also unclear. 

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Airogoi village, Dangam district, Kunar province
References: The Hindu, Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
October 30 2016
♦ 30-70 reported killed
♦ 0-30 civilians reported killed
♦ 0-80 reported injured

An Afghan Air Force operation either killed 70 Taliban fighters, according to the Afghan MOD, or 30 civilians, according to the Taliban.

The attack hit an abandoned army base in Chora district, Uruzgan province. The attack targeted a gathering of Taliban fighters who had taken control of the base two days before.

The MOD said the strike killed and injured scores of Taliban insurgents however the Taliban denied any of its fighters were hurt, claiming 30 civilians perished.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Chora district, Uruzgan province
References: Khaama Press

AFG281
October 30 2016
♦ 11 reported killed

US helicopter gunships killed at least 11 ISKP fighters, according to the Nangarhar provincial police chief.

There were at least two strikes, in Janjal Shaga and Shaistagar areas in Achin district. The police chief said the strike also destroyed a Dshk – a heavy machine gun first produced in 1938 though still being manufactured.

Type of strike: US helicopter strike
Location: Janjal Shaga and Shaistagar areas, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG282
October 31 2016
♦ 9 reported killed

US strikes killed nine “insurgents”, according to the spokesman for Kunar’s governor. The strikes hit in Dangam and Ghaziabad districts, Abdul Ghani Musamin said.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Dangam and Ghaziabad districts, Kunar province
References: TOLO News

AFG283
October 31 2016 
♦ Unknown reported killed

The US conducted 176 strikes in October, according to figures given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson. The Bureau had recorded 38 strikes for this month. The remaining 138 strikes were added to the database.

The data did not include casualty estimates but it was broken down into types of strikes. Captain William Salvin informed the Bureau that 81 strikes were conducted under new rules giving US troops greater freedom to target the Taliban.

A further 69 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, targeting either al Qaeda or Afghanistan’s branch of Isis. The remaining 26 strikes were conducted under force protection rules that allow the US to take out threats to international as well as Afghan troops who are “in extremis”.

Type of strike: US air or drone strikes
Location: Unknown
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email


November 2016

Afghan Air Force strike
November 1 2016
♦ 21 reported killed

An Afghan strike killed 21 insurgents in Faryab province, according to an MOD spokesperson.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Khwaja Sabzposh district, Faryab province
References: BNA/Kabul Tribune

AFG283C
November 3 2016
♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 6 reported injured

At least six member of Isis were killed and six others wounded in an airstrike in Pacher Agam district of Nangarhar province, according to the Afghan MoD.

It was not clear whether the strike was carried out by US or Afghan forces.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Pacher Agam district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG284
November 3 2016
♦ 59 reported killed
♦ 33 civilians reported killed
♦ 53 reported injured 

US air strikes killed 33 civilians and wounded 27 others in Boz Village, a US military investigation has found. Twenty-six Taliban fighters were also killed and around 26 other insurgents were wounded.

According to a statement on the investigation, Afghan special operation forces and US advisors were conducting an operation to capture Taliban leaders involved in recent violence in the area when the Taliban began firing on them from civilian homes. This caused casualties and forced US and Afghan forces to call in air support. Aerial fire was also used against Taliban fighters firing on US “medical evacuation assets”.

The investigation concluded that no further action would be taken as US forces acted in self-defence. It found that US air assets used the “minimum amount of force required to neutralize the various threats from the civilian buildings and protect friendly forces”. The civilians killed were likely in the buildings the Taliban were firing from, the statement said, adding that some may have been killed when a Taliban weapons cache was hit and exploded destroying multiple civilian buildings.

“As an indication of the ferocity of the fire faced by friendly forces from the Taliban-occupied houses, two US soldiers and three Afghan army commandos were killed. In addition, four US soldiers and 11 commandos were wounded,” the statement read.

“Regardless of the circumstances, I deeply regret the loss of innocent lives,” said General Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan. “On this occasion the Taliban chose to hide amongst civilians and then attacked Afghan and US forces.”

Following the incident, UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said preliminary findings showed that at least 32 civilians had died and another 19 had been injured in an “aerial operation”. The organisation reported that a series of airstrikes followed ground operations by international and Afghan security forces during which “pro-Government forces” came under attack.

It noted that most of the victims were women and children. Two US servicemen were also killed and two others injured. There were also reports of at least 22 houses being severely damaged in the attack.

US Forces – Afghanistan published a press release on November 5 acknowledging the US had conducted “air-to-ground engagements”.  It added: “An initial investigation has determined that efforts near Kunduz Nov. 3 to defend Afghan National Defense and Security Forces likely resulted in civilian casualties.” The US said the soldiers killed in the assault were part of “a train, advise and assist mission”. They were later named as Capt. Andrew D. Byers and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan A. Gloyer.

A press briefing took place on December 2. General Nicholson was asked by a reporter to explain what happened on November 3 but his response was not clear enough to clarify the course of events. He said the initial results of an investigation into the incident showed the Taliban were fighting from civilians homes “which invited a response [from Afghan Special Forces and US advisors] and self-defense, which then may have contributed to civil casualties”. He also touched on a preemptive strike by the Afghan Special Forces against a Taliban enclave that could have been used for another attack on Kunduz city.

There were many conflicting accounts on how the civilians died following the incident. The casualty figures also differed. The governor reported more than 30 civilian deaths. Ghulam Rabbani, a provincial council member, said 36 people were killed without specifying how many of these were civilians. Kunduz police chief  Gen. Qasim Jangalbagh said that 26 civilians and 65 Taliban fighters had been killed.

Habib Khan Totakhil, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, tweeted some of the details of the aftermath:

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Boz village, Kunduz province
References: USFOR-A press release, Reuters, ReutersAssociated Press, Washington Post, Twitter, US Forces – Afghanistan via email, Pajhwok, Guardian, New York Times, DoD press release, UNAMA press releaseUS Forces – Afghanistan press release, DoD press briefing, AP, USFOR-A press release

AFG285
November 4 2016
5 reported killed

Five alleged Taliban members, including a local commander, were killed in a drone strike in Farah province, district chief Abdul Khaliq Noorzai said.

Noorzai named the commander as Haji Jabbar.

Type of strike: US drone or air strike
Location: Diwal-i-Surkh area, Khak e Safid district, Farah province
References: Pajhwok News

AFG285C
November 8 2016
7 reported killed
♦ 7 reported injured 

At least seven top Taliban commanders were killed and seven fighters injured in an airstrike in Garamser district, Helmand province, Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence said.

The MoD named four of those killed: Mullah Mujahid, Mullah Agha Mohammad (also known as Mullah Mashar), Mawlavi Mustafa and Mawlavi Hedayat.

It was not clear whether US or Afghan forces conducted the strike though it was reported by Afghanistan’s MoD. The date was also not clear.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Garamser district, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press

AFG286
November 9 2016
1114 reported killed

At least 11 alleged Isis members and three alleged Taliban members were killed in US drone strikes in Nangarhar province on the night of November 9, according to police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal. A machine gun was also destroyed.

Khaama Press reported a drone strike killed 11 alleged Isis members and destroyed a machine gun but did not mention the Taliban deaths. The date of the strike was not clear but it was reported on November 10.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamandara area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok News, Khaama Press

November 10 2016
Attack on German consulate 

The German consulate in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif was attacked by a suicide bomber late night on November 10 killing at least four civilians. A local doctor said the attack and subsequent firefight left 120 people wounded. 

A suicide bomber rammed a truck into the consulate causing “massive damage”, according to a Nato spokesman.

No consulate staff were killed or injured in the attack.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. A statement from the group said it was carried out in retaliation for strikes attributed to the US that killed at least 32 civilians in Kunduz on November 3.

Location: Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province
ReferencesBBC, Fox News, Reuters

AFG287
November 11 2016
♦ 
13-14 reported killed

Overnight strikes by “foreign forces” on November 11 killed 14 alleged Isis members, according to Attuallah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

The strikes reportedly hit Mamandara and Moragi areas of Achin district. Those killed were not from Afghanistan, he said.

The strikes may be the same attack mentioned in an article published by Khaama Press which cited unnamed security forces saying that a US strike hit Nangarhar province killing at least 13 alleged Isis members. The fighters were reportedly also not from Afghanistan.

While the original report did not give the specific date of the strike, Khaama Press published an article the next day stating that the strike hit on November 11.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamandara and Moragi areas, Achin district, Nangarhar Province
Reference: Khaama Press, Khaama Press, Pajhwok News 

November 12 2016
Attack on Bagram base

A suicide bomber killed five Americans at Bagram airbase, one of the most protected places in Afghanistan.

“An explosive device was detonated on Bagram Airfield resulting in multiple casualties. Four people have died in the attack and approximately 14 have been wounded,” NATO said in a statement.

Two soldiers and two contractors were killed. The soldiers were named as Sgt. John W. Perry and Pfc. Tyler R. Iubblt. Another soldier named as Sgt. Allan E. Brown succumbed to his wounds on December 6. 

According to Stars and Stripes, the suicide bomber worked on the airfield and had planned the attack for four months.  A local government spokesman told BBC that the attacker was among Afghan labourers who had entered the base early in the morning.

References: BBC, Al Jazeera, Stars and Stripes, DoD, Washington Post

AFG288
November 12 2016
♦ 13 reported killed

A US drone strike hit Lataband area of Achin district in Nangarhar province late on November 12 and killed 13 alleged Isis members, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

A vehicle belonging to the group was also destroyed in the attack.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Lataband area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok News 

AFG288C
November 13 2016 
♦ 23 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence said that 23 alleged Isis fighters were killed in an airstrike in Achin district, Nangarhar province.

It was not clear if Afghan or US forces had conducted the strike. The date was also not mentioned but the report was published on November 13.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
Reference: Khaama Press

AFG288Ci
November 13 2016
♦ 14 reported killed

A US drone strike killed 14 alleged Isis members in Achin district of Nangarhar province, according to Attaullah Khoghyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

It was unclear when the attack occurred. Khoghyani could be referring to the strike on November 12 also in Achin district.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: TOLO News

Afghan Air Force strike
November 14 2016
 3 reported killed

At least three alleged Taliban militants, including a commander, were killed in a strike on November 14, according to Attaullah Khoghyani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The strike hit Weala area of Ghanikhel district in Nangarhar province and was carried out by the Afghan Air Force.

According to Pajhwok News, ground forces also confiscated weapons and arrested three suspected gunmen. The Taliban reportedly said fighters killed several US and Afghan soldiers in the operation but no other news site has reported this. They confirmed that one of their fighters were killed.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Weala area, Ghanikhel district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok News 

Afghan Air Force strike
November 15 2016 
♦ 10 reported killed
♦ 12 reported injured

At least ten suspected insurgents were killed and a further 12 injured in Afghan Air Force strikes in Sar-e-Pul province, according to Zabihullah Amani, spokesman for the provincial governor.

The strikes hit areas across the province.

Type of strike: AAF strikes
Location: Sar-e-Pul province
References: TOLO News

AFG288Cii
November 17 2016
♦ 
6 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured 

At least six alleged Isis members were killed and two others injured in an air strike in Pacher Agam district of Nangarhar province, according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence.

It was not clear if the strike was conducted by Afghan or US forces. The date of the strike was also not clear but it was reported on November 17.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Pacher Agam district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG289
November 18 2016
7 reported killed

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence confirmed the death of Mullah Borzog, a top leader of Afghanistan’s Isis, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Borzog was one of seven alleged fighters killed in a strike late on November 18 in Nangarhar province, said Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

Security officials told Khaama Press that the strike hit Lagharjoi area and also destroyed weapons, ammunition and explosives.

Afghan officials said it was a drone that hit the group. The US is the only country that conducts drones strikes in Afghanistan.

Khaama Press reported the death of Mullah Borzog on at least one other occasion. A June report stated Borzog had been killed alongside five other fighters.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Lagharjoi area, Kot district, Nangarhar province
ReferencesKhaama PressDeutsche Presse-Agentur, Khaama Press, QNA 

Afghan Air Force strike
November 18 2016
♦ 6 reported killed
♦ 6 reported injured

At least six alleged Taliban insurgents were killed and six others injured in a series of air strikes conducted by Afghan forces in Kunduz province on November 18, according to local officials.

The strikes hit Chardara district and the outskirts of Kunduz city.

An armoured vehicle belonging to the group was destroyed in the strikes.

Type of strike: AAF strikes
Location: Chardara district and Kunduz city outskirts, Kunduz province
References: Khaama Press

AFG290
November 19 2016 
♦ 1 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

Taliban commander Saifullah was killed and two others injured in a US drone strike in Shah Karez area of Zumat district in Paktia province, according to a statement from the governor’s house reported by Pajhwok. 

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Shah Karez, Zumat district, Paktia province
References: Pajhwok 

AFG291
November 20 2016
2 reported killed 

Two alleged Isis loyalists were killed in a US drone strike in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province late on November 20, according to Attaullah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

He said the strike hit Mamandari area in Achin district.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Mamandari, Achin district, Nangarhar province
ReferencesPajhwok

Afghan Air Force strike
November 21 2016
♦ 9 reported killed
♦ 11 reported injured

Afghanistan’s MoD said 9 Taliban insurgents were killed and 11 others were injured in an airstrike in Chora district of Uruzgan province.

In the news piece reporting the strike, Khaama Press noted the increase in Afghan operations in the province but did not reference US strikes. This makes it highly likely that the MoD was referring to an Afghan Air Force strike.

The date of the strike was also not clear but the report was published on November 21.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Chora district, Uruzgan province
References: Khaama Press 

AFG291C
November 21 2016
♦ 15 reported killed
♦ 5 reported injured 

At least 15 alleged insurgents were killed and five others injured in a series of strikes hitting Alishen and Alingar districts of Laghman province, according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence.

It was not clear whether the strikes were conducted by US or Afghan forces. It was also not clear when the strikes occurred but the information was published in Khaama Press on November 21.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Alishen and Aligner districts, Laghman province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
November 23 2016
♦ 8 reported killed

Eight alleged militants were killed in an air strike that hit Lashkargah city, Helmand province, according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence.

While responsibility for the attack was not explicitly placed with the Afghan Air Force, a Ministry of Interior press release published in the news report on the strike detailed Afghan operations in the same area. It also said eight militants were killed.

The date of the strike was not clear but the information was published on November 23.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Lashkargah city, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press

AFG291Ci
November 23 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

Unnamed Afghan security officials reported a US strike hitting Achin district in Nangarhar province on the evening of November 23. It reportedly killed two alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Isis.

The Bureau only records a US strike in Afghanistan as a confirmed strike if it is reported by a named Afghan official, an unnamed or named US official or anonymous sources combined with one other kind of source, such as the account of a local resident.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG292 
November 27 2016 
♦ 7 reported killed
♦ 3 reported injured

A US drone strike killed seven alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Isis and injured three others, according to Attuallah Khogyani, the provincial governor’s spokesman.

The strike hit Gorgori area of Haska Mena district in Nangarhar province at around 11am local time (6.30am GMT), he said. Khaama Press reported the strike occurring in the afternoon.

Type of strikes: US air or drone strike
Location: Gorgori area, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Pahjwok, Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
November 30 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

An “air raid” conducted by Afghan forces killed four alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Isis, according to the Afghan Ministry of Interior.

The air raid was part of wider “clearance” operation in Pachiragam district. The date of the operation was not given but it was reported by Khaama Press on November 30.

Type of strike: AAF strike
Location: Ghazi Khil village, Pachiragam district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press


December 2016

AFG292C
December 4 2016
2 reported killed

Two alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Isis were killed in a US drone strike in Achin district of Nangarhar province, according to a statement from the “provincial police commandment”. 

The date was not clear but it was reported by Khaama Press on December 4.

The sourcing is too vague to record this strike as a confirmed US strike as yet.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG292Ci
December 6 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

Two alleged fighters, including a commander of Afghanistan’s branch of Isis, were killed in Achin district of Nangarhar province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

The date of the attack is not clear but it was reported on December 6.

It is also not clear whether the alleged fighters were killed by a US strike or an Afghan operation.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strikes
December 7 2016
♦ 14 reported killed

At least 14 alleged “anti-government armed militants” were killed in separate Afghan air strikes in Kunduz and Paktika provinces, according to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence.

Seven of the alleged fighters were killed in strikes on Hakim Bai and Bagh Sherkat villages in Kunduz province. The MoD said that a further seven were killed in strikes conducted in Zurmat district in Paktika province.

The date of the strikes was not given but they were reported by Khaama Press on December 7.

Type of strike: AAF strikes
Location: Hakim Bai and Bagh Sherkat villages, Kunduz province and Zurmat district, Paktika province
References: Khaama Press

AFG292Cii
December 9 2016
♦ 12 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Interior said that at least 12 alleged fighters were killed in a strike on Bala Bolok district in Farah province on December 9.

The MoI statement announced this strike alongside another strike in Helmand province. It was not clear if the strikes were conducted by Afghan or US forces.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Bala Bolok district, Farah province
ReferencesKhaama Press

AFG292Ciii
December 9 2016

♦ 2 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Interior said that a strike killed two alleged fighters in Nahr e Saraj district in Helmand province on an unspecified date.

The strike was announced alongside another strike which took place on December 9. It is unclear if the two strikes were carried out by Afghan or US forces.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Nahr e Saraj district, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press

AFG293
December 11 2016
♦ 7 reported killed

Seven alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Isis were killed in a US drone strike, according to Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, provincial police spokesman.

He said the strike hit Langari area of Haska Mena district in Nangarhar province late on December 11.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Langari area, Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Xinhua, Khaama Press

AFG293C
December 12 2016
♦ 14 reported killed
♦ 11 reported injured 

At least 14 alleged fighters were killed and 11 others seriously wounded in a strike that hit close to Lashkargah city in Helmand province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

The MoD said the strike had been conducted in the past 24 hours. Khaama Press reported the MoD statement in the evening of December 12.

It is not clear whether the strike was conducted by US or Afghan forces.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Helmand province
References: Khaama Press

AFG293Ci
December 13 2016
♦ 4 reported killed

Unnamed local security officials reported the death of an alleged commander of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State and three other members in a US strike in Achin district of Nangarhar province.

The date of the strike is not clear but it was reported by Khaama Press on December 13.

The sourcing is too vague to confirm it as a US strike and include it in the casualty tally as yet.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Abdul Khel area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

Afghan Air Force strike
December 13 2016
16 reported killed

A strike by the Afghan Air Force killed 16 alleged fighters in Greshk district of Helmand province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defence.

The date of the attack was not reported but the statement was released on December 13.

Type of strike: Afghan Air Force strike
Location: Greshk district, Helmand province
References: Khaama Press

AFG293Cii
December 13 2016

♦ Unknown reported killed

Local security officials told Khaama Press that three US drone strikes hit different areas in Achin district at different times on December 13. One of these strikes hit Mazdaki area.

According to the local officials, at least 12 alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State were killed and two others injured in the three strikes but a casualty count was not given for the individual attacks.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Mazdaki area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG293Ciii
December 13 2016

♦ Unknown reported killed

Local security officials told Khaama Press that three US drone strikes hit different areas in Achin district at different times on 13 December.

One of the strikes hit “Bazar” area, according to the news report. This likely means the strike hit the bazaar in Achin.

The three strikes reportedly killed at least 12 alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State and injured two others. A casualty count was not given for the individual strikes.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Bazaar, Achin district, Nangarhar province
Reference: Khaama Press

AFG293Ciiii
December 13 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed

Local security officials told Khaama Press that three US drone strikes hit different areas in Achin district at different times on 13 December.

One of the strikes hit Gand area in Achin district, according to the officials.

The strikes killed at least 12 alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State and injured two others. A casualty count was not given for the individual strikes.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Gand area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG293Civ
December 14 2016 
♦ 21 reported killed

The Afghan Ministry of Interior said that 21 armed Taliban members were killed in an air strike in the early hours of the morning on December 14.

The strike hit Chamtal district in Balkh province.

It was not clear whether Afghan or US forces conducted the strike.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Chamtal district, Balkh province
References: Khaama Press

AFG294
December 15 2016
♦ 4-6 reported killed

The “provincial police commandment” said separate strikes conducted by the US military killed eight alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State.

Local security officials said one of the strikes killed six of the fighters in Kharga area of Haska Mena district.

Provincial police spokesman Lt Col Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal confirmed the strikes which he said were conducted by a drone but said four fighters were killed in Haska Mena district.

It was not clear when the strikes took place but they were reported on December 15.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Kharga area, Haska Mena district, Nagarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

AFG295
December 15 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

Two members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State were killed in a US drone strike in Achin district, according to provincial police spokesman Lt Col Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal. Local security officials said the strike hit Pekha area.

The strike was one of two US strikes mentioned by Mashriqiwal. It is not clear when the strikes took place but they were reported on December 15.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Pekha area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press, Pajhwok

AFG295C
December 16 2016
♦ 16 reported killed

A US drone strike in Achin district of Nangarhar province killed at least 16 alleged members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State, according to a statement released by what Khaama Press called the “provincial police commandment”.

The sourcing is too vague to confirm it as a US strike and include it in the casualty tally as yet.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG295Ci
December 19 2016
♦ Unknown reported killed
♦ Possible civilian deaths 
♦ 6 reported injured 

At the end of a news report on a “clearing operation”,  Pajhwok reported that an airstrike had hit a wedding ceremony in the Khanqa area of Tarin Kot in Uruzgan province.

A local resident said that the house where the wedding was taking place was attacked in the evening of December 19, killing and wounding several people, including women and children.

Aminullah Tokhi, a director of a local hospital, said that six injured people had been admitted to the hospital and one patient had died on the way.

It was unclear whether the attack was conducted by Afghan or US forces. The Bureau has not found any other media outlets reporting the incident as yet. 

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Khanqa area, Tarin Kot district, Uruzgan province
References: Pajhwok

AFG295Cii
December 19 2016
♦ 8 reported killed
♦ 2 reported injured

Eight Islamic State fighters were reported killed in a strike in Nangarhar province by unnamed security officials.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Nari Oba area, Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG295Ciii
December 23 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

At least two Islamic State fighters were reported killed in a US strike in Nangarhar. However the report of the attack was vaguely sourced to “local security officials” and so is only listed as a possible attack here and has not been added to the strike tally at the top of the page.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Darwazagi area, Haska Mina district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG296
December 24 2016
♦ 1 reported killed
♦ 4 reported injured

A Taliban commander, Abdul Rahman, was killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar, according to Nangarhar Police Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal. Four of Rahman’s men were wounded in the strike.

Type of strike: US drone or air strike
Location: Ambarkhani area, Bati Kot district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG297
December 24 2016
♦ 2 reported killed

Two “foreign rebels” were killed in a second strike on December 24, according to Nangarhar Police Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal.

Type of strike: US drone or air strike
Location: Bandar area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG298
December 27 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

Three members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State were killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province, according to Nangarhar Police Spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Langar Kandaw area, Achin district, Nangarhar province
References: Pajhwok

AFG299
December 28 2016
♦ 2 reported killed
♦ 1 reported injured

Two members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State were killed and one member was injured in a US drone strike in Paein area early on December 28, according to Nangarhar Governor’s Spokesman Attaullah Khogyani.

After being unable to locate Paein, a Bureau researcher spoke with Nangarhar Police Spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashraqiwal. He said the previous location cited by Khogyani was inaccurate and the strike instead hit a village called Papin in Haska Mena district of Nangarhar province.

Type of strike: US air or drone strike
Location: Papin, Haska Mena, Nangarhar
References: Pajhwok 

AFG299C
December 28 2016
♦ 3 reported killed

The “provincial police commandment” said three members of Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State were killed in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province.

A Khaama Press news report on the incident said the alleged fighters were “targeted in Haska Mina district after the US drones carried out an air raid in Langari Gand area”. It is not clear from this whether the strike that killed them hit Langari Gand area.

The date of the attack was not given but Khaama Press published the information on December 28. The sourcing is also too vague to record this as a confirmed US strike and include it in the casualty tally as yet.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Haska Mena district, Nangarhar province
References: Khaama Press

AFG300
December 28 2016
♦ 3 reported killed
♦ 7 reported injured 

Three Taliban fighters were killed and a further seven injured in a US drone strike in Nangarhar province, according to Lieutenant Colonel Hazrat Hussain Mashriqiwal, the provincial police spokesman.

Type of attack: US air or drone strike
Location: Gandi-Bagh area, Chaparhar district, Nangarhar province
References: PajhwokKhaama Press

AFG300C
December 29 2016
♦ 10 reported killed
♦ 19 reported injured 

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defence said that a “series of air and artillery strikes” in Faryab province killed ten Taliban insurgents and wounded a further 19.

Specific dates for the strikes were not given but the MoD statement was reported by Khaama Press on December 29.

It is not clear whether Afghan or US forces conducted the strikes.

Type of strike: Possible US strike
Location: Qaisar district, Faryad province
References: Khaama Press

AFG301
January 12 2017
♦ Unknown reported killed

The US conducted a total of 1071 “kinetic strikes” in 2016, according to data given to the Bureau by a US spokesperson in January.

The majority of these strikes were conducted under new rules introduced in June allowing the US Air Force to target the Taliban directly. There were 480 of these strikes, known as “strategic effects” strikes.

A further 324 strikes were conducted under counter-terrorism authorities, targeting either Afghanistan’s branch of Islamic State or al Qaeda.  The remaining 267 strikes were conducted using force protection rules that allow the US to take out threats to international forces as well as Afghan troops who are “in extremis”.

The Bureau recorded at least 617 US strikes in Afghanistan in 2016. The additional strikes have been added to the database.

Location: Afghanistan
References: US Forces – Afghanistan via email

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Strikes