The Pentagon has admitted that a US drone strike in Kabul has killed 10 civilians, including seven children.
The strike took place on August 29, a few days before the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan. US officials initially claimed to have successfully killed the Isis militants.
However, a U.S. Central Army investigation later concluded that aid activists and nine members of his family, including seven children and one U.S. translator, had died. The youngest girl, Sumaya, was only two years old.
Authorities now consider the murdered person to be “unlikely” to be associated with a terrorist group or a direct threat to the United States.
The strike took place a few days after a suicide bomber killed about 170 civilians and 13 U.S. military personnel at Kabul Airport, when intelligence officials were wary of another attack.
According to General Kenneth McKenzie, intelligence officers misrepresented aid worker Zemari Ahmadhi’s car as being associated with a radical from Isis-K, a local branch of Isis that claimed responsibility for the bombing of Kabul Airport. I believed.
Ahmadhi worked for Nutrition and Education International, a non-governmental organization working to distribute food to Afghan civilians.
US intelligence was tracking his car for eight hours after placing it in a facility linked to a terrorist group. General Mackenzie said the movement of the car was in line with the US understanding of the terrorist group’s plans for an attack on Kabul Airport.
However, he admitted that no one killed on strike was considered a threat.
“I’m now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in the strike,” General Mackenzie told reporters Friday. “In addition, we currently rate the vehicle as unlikely to be associated with death. [Isis-K] Or it was a direct threat to the US military. “
“We would like to express our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the murdered people. This strike was carried out with a serious belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our troops and airport evacuees. That was a mistake. I sincerely apologize. “
General Mackenzie said the United States is investigating whether anyone is responsible for innocent death.
What happened in Afghanistan?
Earlier this year, the United States announced that it would withdraw its troops from Afghanistan by August 31 after being stationed in Afghanistan for 20 years.
However, when the United States ended the operation, Taliban militant groups swept the country and took control within about two weeks.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and the capital of Kabul was hijacked by Taliban militants on August 15.
The Taliban takeover has led to concerns about the safety of those who have worked with the Allies, along with human rights activists and minority groups.
US, British and other Western troops have evacuated those who worked with them from Afghanistan, along with those who were considered most endangered by the Taliban violence and ultimately their own troops. I started.
Thousands of people wishing to fly to Kabul gathered at Kabul Airport, some died trying to stick to the takeoff of the plane, while others were crushed and killed in the crowd.
There was growing concern that terrorists might target civilians and Western soldiers at the airport. On August 26, Isis-K suicide bombers killed about 170 civilians and 13 US military personnel.
A drone strike pulled Ahmadhi into his driveway, causing a secondary explosion and killing him. U.S. officials initially attributed the second explosion to evidence that the car was carrying explosives, but are now believed to be due to the propane tank.
Ahmad Nazer, a US military interpreter, was also killed in the attack. Others killed on strike worked for international organizations and had US visas.
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a statement apologizing for the strike, admitting that Mr Ahmadhi’s actions were “totally harmless.”
“We now have nothing to do with Mr. Ahmadhi and Isis Kolasan, his activities of the day are completely harmless and have nothing to do with the imminent threat we believed we were facing. I know there isn’t, “Austin said.
“I apologize. I will try to learn from this horrific mistake.”