Nine members of one family including six children were killed in a US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighborhood of Kabul, a relative of the dead has revealed.
The US carried out an airstrike in Kabul, targeting a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed an “imminent” threat to the Kabul airport, US Central Command said Sunday, August 29.
“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International Airport,” said US CENTCOM spokesman Capt. Bill Urban.
“We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”
However, the brother of one of the people killed, has now reportedly cried out, saying the youngest person killed by the airstrike was a 2-year-old girl.
“They were an ordinary family,” he said to CNN.
“We are not ISIS or Daesh and this was a family home — where my brothers lived with their families.”
Witnesses at the scene of the drone strike in Kabul say that several people were killed by the drone strike, including children.
“All the neighbors tried to help and brought water to put out the fire and I saw that there were five or six people dead,” an eye witness told CNN.
“The father of the family and another young boy and there were two children. They were dead. They were in pieces. There were [also] two wounded.”
The US military has now acknowledged that there are reports of civilian casualties following the strike.
“We know that there were substantial and powerful subsequent explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties. It is unclear what may have happened, and we are investigating further,” Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for US Central Command, said in a statement on Sunday night.
“We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life,” he added.
US forces are racing to complete their evacuation operation in Afghanistan before Tuesday’s deadline and under the threat of a new terror attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
This comes after a suicide bombing outside the airport gates on Thursday killed 13 US service members and at least 200 Afghans.
Sunday’s drone strike on a vehicle is the second by US forces targeting the ISIS-K terror group in the space of three days and shoes the inaccuracy drones bring to the table when it comes to mass casualties.
The Taliban, who now control Afghanistan, condemned the strike later Sunday, saying the US had violated the country’s sovereignty.
Bilal Kareemi, a Taliban spokesperson, said “not right to conduct operations on others’ soil” and that the US should have informed the Taliban. “Whenever the US conducts such operations, we condemn them,” he said.