A US drone attack near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed ten members of the same family – including six children – as reported by family members to the BBC.
The ten people were killed when a car parked at their house was the target of an explosion as a result of the drone attack carried out last Sunday (29/8).
According to family members’ accounts, the youngest child to be killed was Sumaya, a two-year-old girl, and the oldest was 12-year-old Farzad.
“It’s wrong, it’s a brutal attack, and it was carried out on the basis of wrong information,” Ramin Yousufi, a relative of the children, told the BBC.
In tears, he added: “Why did they kill our family? Our children? They were so charred that we couldn’t identify their bodies, their faces.”
Emal Ahmadi is the father of the two-year-old girl who was killed. “They (USA) made a mistake, a big mistake,” he declared. Ahmadi told the BBC that he and the rest of his family have signed up to be flown from Afghanistan to the US and are awaiting a phone call about when to go to the airport.
One of those enrolled was Ahmad Naser, who was eventually killed in Sunday’s attack and who had previously worked as a translator for US troops in Afghanistan. Another of the ten victims had worked for international organizations and had a US entry visa.
US say they are investigating
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters that the US government “is not in a position to challenge” reports of civilian victims and that the case is being investigated.
“There is no doubt, no army on the face of the earth works harder to prevent civilian deaths than the US, no one wants to see innocent lives taken,” he declared. “We take this very seriously and when we know that we have caused innocent loss of life in the conduct of our operations, we are transparent about it.”
Kirby defended intelligence around what “we believed to be a very real, very specific and very imminent threat” against Kabul International Airport from Isis-K.
In an earlier statement, US Central Command had said there had been “substantial and powerful explosions subsequent” to Sunday’s drone attack. These explosions, the statement said, indicate that “there was a large amount of explosive material inside (the target), which may have caused additional deaths.”
The US has been on high alert since a suicide bombing killed more than 100 civilians and 13 US military personnel near the airport last Thursday (26/8). Isis-K claimed responsibility for the attack.
Many of the victims were people hoping to board one of the evacuation flights that are taking Afghans and foreigners out of Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover of central power.
The US has warned that attacks of this type could take place until August 31 – the deadline for the total American withdrawal from the country. According to The New York Times, as of Monday night (30/8) there was no longer any American presence remaining in Afghanistan. The US Central Command claims to have managed to evacuate 123,000 civilians from the country.
Earlier this Monday (8/30), the US anti-missile system intercepted a rocket flying over Kabul towards the airport, according to US officials. Isis-K claimed responsibility for five rockets fired. There were no reports of any victims related to this episode.
Meanwhile, G7 countries (a group of rich countries that includes the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan) to define a joint approach to the Taliban.
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