US admits killing of 10 civilians in Kabul last month

People waiting for flight to leave Afghanistan at Kabul airport. File Photo

Admitting the mistake, the United States has said that it killed ten civilians in Kabul when drone strikes were launched in Kabul last month.

A top general admitted the United States had made a “mistake” when it launched a drone strike in Kabul, killing 10 civilians including children during the frenzied final days of the US pullout from Afghanistan, news agency AFP reported.

The strike, a macabre coda to the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, was meant to target a suspected “Daesh” operation that US intelligence had “reasonable certainty” aimed to attack the Kabul airport, the report quoted US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie as saying.

“The strike was a tragic mistake,” McKenzie told reporters after an investigation, the report said.

In a statement, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin apologized to the relatives of those killed in the strike.

“I offer my deepest condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed,” Austin said in a statement.

“We apologize, and we will endeavor to learn from this horrible mistake,” he said.

McKenzie said the government was studying on how payments for damages could be made to the families of those killed.

The report quoting general said that on August 29 US forces had tracked a white Toyota for eight hours after seeing it at a site in Kabul that intelligence had identified as a location from which Daesh operatives were believed to be preparing attacks on the Kabul airport.

Intelligence reports had led US forces to watch for a white Toyota Corolla that the group was allegedly using, he said.

“We selected this car based on its movement at a known target area of interest to us,” McKenzie said.

“Clearly our intelligence was wrong on this particular white Toyota,” he was quoted as saying.

The drone strike killed 10 people, including seven children, according to McKenzie, none of who ultimately were linked to the militant group.


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