US Central Command has announced they are investigating reports of an incident after a US drone strike targeting a suicide bomber ended up killing 10 members of one family, including six children in Kabul.
The 10 were killed when a car parked at their home was struck by an explosion on Sunday, August 29.
Witnesses said a rocket strike blew up two cars parked outside a residential building near the Hamid Karzai airport to the north of Afghanistan’s capital. It is believed the vehicles were going to be used in an ‘imminent’ attack by ISIS-K militants.
The strike on the vehicles, filled with explosives, is then believed to have caused a secondary blast, killing and wounding several civilians. This morning as many as five rockets were fired at Kabul’s international airport but were intercepted by a missile defense system, a US official told Reuters.
An Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity out of security concerns, said that three children were among the dead. It is not known where the children killed in the incident were at the time of the explosion.
The death toll is expected to rise with Afghan TV presenter Muslim Shirzad reporting that as many as six children were dead and nine people in total, including an interpreter who had worked with US troops, and an Afghan army officer due to get married tomorrow.
Two unnamed US officials earlier confirmed to Reuters that American forces had launched a successful strike in the capital city targeting suspected ISIS-K militants.
US Navy Captain Bill Urban, a military spokesman, had earlier said the military was investigating whether there were civilian casualties but that ‘we have no indications at this time’.
‘We are confident we successfully hit the target,’ Urban said. ‘Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.’
Dina Mohammadi said her extended family were in the building and that several of them had been killed, including children.
Ahmaduddin, a neighbour, said he had collected the bodies of children after the strike, which set off more explosions inside the house.
US Central Command has said they are investigating reports of the incident, but are unclear how the 10 died.
In a statement, it said there had been a number of “substantial and powerful subsequent explosions” following the drone strike.
It said the explosions suggested there had been “a large amount of explosive material inside, that may have caused additional casualties”.