Photo taken on Feb. 15, 2020 shows a damaged vehicle at the site of an airstrike in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan. Eight local villagers, including a child, were killed following airstrikes in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar on Friday, a provincial official said on Saturday. (Photo by Saifurahman Safi/Xinhua)
JALALABAD, Afghanistan, Feb. 15 (Xinhua) -- Eight local villagers, including a child, were killed following airstrikes in Afghanistan's eastern province of Nangarhar on Friday, a provincial official said on Saturday.
"Two running vehicles carrying villagers were struck by a missile fired from an airplane in Surkh Rod district Friday evening. The victims were back on their way from a local bazaar before their vehicles being struck," a local official told Xinhua anonymously.
In the meantime, provincial government spokesman Attaullah Khogiani told Xinhua that airstrikes conducted by NATO-led coalition forces targeted two vehicles in Surkh Rod.
"Local officials are visiting the village where the incident occurred. The initial information found that the victims were civilians but more time is needed to find more facts about the incident," he said, adding that more information will be released soon.
He said one child was among the killed and two vehicles were also damaged in the strikes.
More than 2,817 civilians were killed and over 7,955 others injured in conflict-related incidents in Afghanistan in 2019, according to the figures released by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).
The IED explosions, ground fighting, and suicide attacks were the leading cause of civilians' casualties in 2019, followed by targeted attacks and pro-government forces-related airstrikes, according to AIHRC.
The AIHRC has attributed 71 percent of the civilian casualties to the Taliban militants, 5 percent to Islamic State (IS) militants, and 14 percent to Afghan security forces and foreign troops over the period while 10 percent were caused by other reasons.
Out of the total casualties, 445 children were killed and over 2,200 injured last year in separate incidents, according to the agency.