Afghans say the US military drone attack on Sunday in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, also killed civilians — including children.
The US says the attack was on a suicide bomber who was preparing to attack the airport and is investigating reports of civilians killed, but admits innocents may have died (see below).
The Taliban had already condemned the action, saying that seven people had died.
This Monday (30), the television network CNN and the newspapers “The New York Times” and “The Washington Post” spoke with relatives and neighbors of the people who were allegedly killed.
CNN says that nine died, including six children (one of them just two years old). The “New York Times” speaks in ten dead, including seven children, a relief worker from an American charity and an American army contractor.
The American version is that the drone attack caused “subsequent explosions” — and that they may have killed civilians.
This was the version presented by William Urban, captain of the US Navy and spokesman for the US Central Command, the body responsible for US military operations in the Middle East. “We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent lives.”
“We know that there have been subsequent substantial and powerful explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material in its interior that may have caused additional casualties,” Central Command said in a statement.
According to the Associated Press news agency, the target was a car parked in a residential building near the airport, which two suspects were loading with explosives in the trunk.
A source told the AP that the drone fired a Hellfire missile at the vehicle and that the initial explosion caused by the missile was followed by a much larger fireball, which would have been caused by the explosives inside the vehicle.
The drone attack was the second US response to the US terrorist attack. Islamic State-Khorasan (EI-K) at Kabul International Airport, which left more than 180 dead, including 13 US military personnel, on Thursday (27).
The death toll in the Kabul airport attack exceeds 180
The first response came on Saturday (28): two members of EI-K were killed and one was injured in a drone attack. US military say the three were involved in the planning and execution of the airport bombing.
On the same day, Biden warned that a new attack at the airport would be “very likely” in “the next 24 to 36 hours” and that the bombing “would not be the last”.
On Monday (30), rockets launched at the airport were intercepted by the American anti-missile system and others fell in a nearby neighborhood and hit homes.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to Reuters. There are no reports of injuries so far.