Officials say US strikes targeted al-Qaida militants

Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan

U.S. airstrikes this week in eastern Afghanistan killed several al-Qaida militants, including two Arabs and four Pakistanis, Afghan officials said Thursday, but added authorities cannot definitively identify the slain militants because of the area’s inaccessibility and remoteness.

The officials also gave conflicting information on the time and number of the alleged airstrikes, which they said were carried out with drones.

Kunar’s governor, Wahidullah Kalemzai, said a strike on Monday hit in the Haygal Valley, killing four militants, as well as the wife and child of one of them.

According to Kalemzai, al-Qaida has been present for years in Kunar, with authorities having little or no control over remote areas.

Meanwhile, Kunar’s provincial council chief, Jamaluddin Sayar, said there were two airstrikes on Sunday night that killed eight people, including the two Arab and four Pakistani militants.

Sayar said local intelligence reports indicate that the drones struck two houses where militants had gathered.