An American drone strike reportedly killed more than two dozen farmers and laborers and injured 40 more.
The Wednesday evening attack accidentally hit a large group of workers who were resting after they had just finished collecting pine nuts in the mountainous eastern part of the country, according to Reuters. The strike was intended to hit an Islamic State hideout.
“The workers had lit a bonfire and were sitting together when a drone targeted them,” said tribal elder Malik Rahat Gul.
The United States acknowledged the strike and said it was working with local authorities to work out further details.
“U.S. forces conducted a drone strike against [ISIS] terrorists in Nangarhar,” said Col. Sonny Leggett, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan. “We are aware of allegations of the death of non-combatants and are working with local officials to determine the facts.”
The owner of the pine nut fields, Haidar Khan, said he had about 150 workers there to harvest and shell pine nuts. Khan said some of those laborers are still missing.
ISIS fighters, estimated to be numbered at around 2,000, first came to Afghanistan in 2014 and have been fighting the Afghan government, U.S. forces, and the Taliban.
The U.S. has 14,000 troops in the country who are assisting Afghan forces battling against ISIS and the Taliban.