Home International Afghanistan: US investigates civilian deaths in Kabul strike
International - August 30, 2021

Afghanistan: US investigates civilian deaths in Kabul strike

Afghanistan: US investigates civilian deaths in Kabul strike

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A US drone strike targeting a suicide bomber ended up killing 10 members of one family, including six children, surviving relatives have told the BBC.

The 10 were killed when a car parked at their home was struck by an explosion on Sunday.

The US military said a vehicle carrying at least one person associated with the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group was targeted.

It said people nearby may have been hit in the aftermath of the strike.

Some of those killed had previously worked for international organisations and held visas allowing them entry to the US, the BBC has been told.

The youngest child to be killed was two-year-old Sumaya, and the oldest child was 12-year-old Farzad.

“It’s wrong, it’s a brutal attack, and it’s happened based on wrong information,” Ramin Yousufi, a relative of the victims, told the BBC.

He added, tearfully: “Why have they killed our family? Our children? They are so burned out we cannot identify their bodies, their faces.”

Another relative, Emal Ahmadi, told the BBC that it was his two-year-old daughter who was killed in the strike.

Mr Ahmadi said he and others in the family had applied for evacuation to the US, and had been waiting for a phone call telling them to go to the airport.

That included one of his relatives, Ahmad Naser, who was killed in the strike and had previously worked as a translator with US forces.

The US, he added, had made “a mistake, it was a big mistake”.

US Central Command has said they are investigating reports of the incident, but are unclear how the 10 died.

In a statement, it said there had been a number of “substantial and powerful subsequent explosions” following the drone strike.

It said the explosions suggested there had been “a large amount of explosive material inside, that may have caused additional casualties”.

Central Command had previously said the strike was successful at “eliminating an imminent” threat to Kabul’s Hamad Karzai International airport from IS-K (Islamic State Khorasan Province), IS’s Afghan affiliate.

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