At least 80 people may have died Friday in Afghanistan when a NATO jet destroyed two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by Taliban fighters.
A NATO commander said a “large number of insurgents” were killed or injured in the pre-dawn attack, but Afghan officials say the casualties also include many civilians.
The tankers were hijacked late Thursday, but when they came to a river they could not cross, Taliban guerrillas stopped the vehicles and told villagers to siphon off the diesel fuel, according to the New York Times. That’s when NATO struck.
“The air attack exploded the tankers, and people close to the trucks were blown to bits,” the Times reported. Some farther away died from severe burns.
Some reports say as many as 90 may have died.