The United Nations yesterday said it was gravely concerned about reports indicating 11 civilians had been killed in an Afghan security force operation in an eastern province near the border with Pakistan. The government’s main security agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said the operation in Paktia province had targeted a Taliban hideout and among the 11 dead militants were two commanders. However, a politician in the area said the government forces attacked a student gathering over the Eid al-Azha Muslim holiday. Security forces surrounded the house, brought out the victims from the guesthouse and shot them one by one, he said by telephone from the province. “Accountability essential. Harm to civilians must stop,” the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a post on Twitter.