30th August, 2021
A Taliban spokesman said a U.S. drone strike targeting a suspected suicide bomber in Kabul on Sunday resulted in civilian casualties.
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the United States for failing to inform the Taliban before ordering the strike.
Mujahid told China’s state television CGTN on Monday that seven people were killed in the drone attack, describing the U.S. action on foreign soil as unlawful.
“If there was any potential threat in Afghanistan, it should have been reported to us, not an arbitrary attack that has resulted in civilian casualties,” Mujahid said in a written response to CGTN.
Meanwhile a family in Kabul said 10 members, including children were killed in the attack.
The family was not the intended target, but members were hit by the explosion coming from the targeted car.
The Washington Post reported the dead were all from a single extended family who were exiting a car in their modest driveway when the strike hit a nearby vehicle, said Abdul Matin Azizi, a neighbor who saw the attack.
Azizi, 20, said the explosion occurred as the family returned home Sunday afternoon around 4:30 p.m.
Azizi said he ran next door to help and found a gruesome scene, the air thick with smoke.
“The bodies were covered in blood and shrapnel, and some of the dead children were still inside the car,” he said.
Pentagon officials said the suicide car bomber had been preparing to attack the airport in Kabul, where U.S. troops were in the final stages of a withdrawal from Afghanistan.
The officials said the planned strike was on behalf of ISIS-K, a local affiliate of Islamic State that is an enemy of both the West and the Taliban.
U.S. Central Command said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties from Sunday’s drone strike.
“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 said.
Mujahid had issued a similar condemnation of a U.S. drone strike on Saturday that killed two Islamic State militants in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
He said two women and a child were wounded in that attack.