The United States said on Monday that it was assessing the results of its drone strike on an explosive-laden vehicle allegedly headed towards the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, adding that it was aware of reports of civilian casualties in the strike. This comes amid media reports that several Afghans, including children, were killed in the drone strike.
“We are aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today,” Capt Bill Urban, spokesman of the US Central Command, said. “We are still assessing the results of this strike, which we know disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat to the airport,” he added, reports PTI.
The United States is running against time to evacuate its citizens from trouble-torn Afghanistan in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover of the country. The terror group ISIS's Afghan chapter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISKP), involved in a turf war with Taliban, carried out an attack on the Kabul airport last week killing more than 100 people, including Americans.
On Sunday the US drone targeted an Islamic State suicide car bomber allegedly preparing to attack the airport in the capital city, according to reports. Citing local journalists and relatives of the victims, news channel CNN reported that nine members of one family, including six children, were killed in the strike. The youngest child was a two-year-old girl, the brother of one of the dead told a journalist working for CNN.
“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,” he said.
Meanwhile, in Washington, a senior Biden administration official said on Sunday that the US had the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 US citizens remaining in Afghanistan.
“This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days,” America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said not long before confirmation of that airstrike in Kabul, the capital, reports AP.