US forces in Afghanistan dropped a record number of bombs last year, more than at any other time in at least 10 years, according to the US Air Force.
The US has dropped 7,423 bombs on targets in Afghanistan in 2019, marking a rise from the 7,362 munitions dropped in 2018, US Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) said in a report released on Monday.
The figure represents a dramatic increase in bombings in Afghanistan in contrast to 2009 when 4,147 bombs were dropped under former President Barack Obama.
The US has now ramped up air bombings since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016 as Washington removed a requirement that said the targets should be “proximate” to US or Afghan forces in order to prevent civilian casualties.
The United Nations and rights groups have repeatedly expressed concerns over the increase in air raids across the country by US and Afghan forces that have resulted in a dramatic rise in civilian casualties.
On Sunday, at least seven civilians, including three children were killed in government air raids in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province that triggered protests from residents.