An American drone strike targeting an apparent Islamic State car bomb killed 10 civilians, including multiple children, The Washington Post reports.
The US, on the heels of a suicide bomb attack that killed 13 military members and more than 160 Afghans outside the Kabul airport last week, launched a drone strike targeting an apparent ISIS-K car bomb that posed an “imminent” threat to the airport.
The strike came just hours after President Joe Biden warned of an imminent attack targeting the airport.
The strike hit about a mile away from the airport in a residential neighborhood. The strike was followed by a larger explosion, the Pentagon said, which suggests the car was rigged with explosives.
“We are aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul,” US Central Command said in a statement Sunday. “It is unclear what may have happened, and we are investigating further. We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.”
10 civilians killed:
The strike killed 10 members of the same family while they were exiting their car nearby, relatives told the Post.
Abdul Marin Azizi, a neighbor, said the family was returning home on Sunday when the explosion occurred.
“The bodies were covered in blood and shrapnel, and some of the dead children were still inside the car,” he said.
Eight of the 10 people killed were under 18, according to the family, including a 2-year-old boy.
Zamarai Ahmadi, a charity worker, and three of his sons were among those killed.
The United States “always says they are killing [the Islamic State], al-Qaeda or the Taliban, but they always attack civilian people and children,” Ahmad Fayaz, a relative of the family, told the Post. “I don’t think they are good people.”
“The Americans said the airstrike killed Daesh members,” said Azizi, referring to the ISIS offshoot. “Where is Daesh here? Were these children Daesh?”
US says family may have been killed by car bomb:
"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. "We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.”
The Taliban condemned the strike and accused the US of violating their sovereignty.