The United States is investigating possible civilian casualties in the airstrike that destroyed an explosives-laden car in the Afghan capital Kabul, a spokesman for the Central Command of the United States Army (Centcom).
“We are aware that civilian casualties were reported following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today”, said Captain Bill Urban, spokesperson for Centcom, in a statement.
The aim of the strike was to “Remove an imminent threat” of the Islamic State organization in Khorasan (EI-K) against the airport, while the latest evacuations continue two days before the American withdrawal.
A Taliban spokesperson immediately confirmed that a car bomb had been destroyed on his way to the airport and that a probable second strike had hit a house nearby. “We are investigating the reasons for this airstrike and the exact number of victims”, he had declared.
“What happened is not clear”
The United States has therefore announced that it is carrying out its own investigations. “We are still in the process of evaluating the results of this strike”, says Captain Urban. Before its publication, the American channel CNN had claimed that nine members of a family, including six children, were killed in Sunday’s strike in the overcrowded capital, where thousands of Afghans are still trying to flee the Taliban.
Nine members of one family were killed in US drone strike targeting a vehicle in a residential neighborhood of… https://t.co/gTZ6DJNl8n
Agence France-Presse was unable to confirm this toll, but local media also announced civilian casualties.
“We know that there were large and powerful explosions following the destruction of the vehicle, indicating the presence of a large amount of explosive material inside, which may have caused additional casualties”, underlined Captain Urban. “It is not clear what happened and we are continuing to investigate. “We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life”, he added.
It is the second time that the United States has been carrying out airstrikes against the Islamic State organization since the Kabul airport bombing, which killed around 100 people, including thirteen American soldiers, on Thursday.
More than 114,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 15, the day the Taliban seized power. The US withdrawal from the country is due to end on Tuesday, August 31.
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