Pentagon acknowledges reports of civilian casualties in US airstrike in Kabul

U.S. military officials are acknowledging reports of civilian casualties as the result of a drone strike on an explosives-laden vehicle carrying would-be suicide bombers in Kabul over the weekend.

“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,” Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for U.S. Central Command said in a statement. “We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.” 

Nine members of one family, including a child younger than 3 years old, were killed in the strike, CNN reported.

“All the neighbors tried to help and brought water to put out the fire and I saw that there were five or six people dead,” a neighbor told the network. “The father of the family and another young boy and there were two children. They were dead. They were in pieces. There were [also] two wounded.” 

Urban said in an earlier statement on Sunday that the airstrike, which occurred on a vehicle packed with explosives traveling through a residential neighborhood in Kabul, eliminated “an imminent ISIS-K threat” to the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Last week, 13 service members and dozens of Afghans were killed as the result of a suicide bombing carried out by ISIS-K, ISIS’s affiliate in Afghanistan, at an airport gate.

President Biden and leading U.S. military officials have said they expected more attempted attacks on U.S. forces and Afghan civilians as the military works to evacuate U.S. citizens and support staff ahead of Tuesday’s withdrawal deadline.

Tags Joe Biden Military War in Afghanistan

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