Ten members of a family, including seven children, were killed in the US drone strike targeting an ISIS-Khorasan suicide bomber, who reportedly posed an “imminent threat” to Kabul Airport.
Relatives of the deceased family say the youngest victims of Sunday’s airstrike were two 2-year-old girls.
US Central Command on Sunday said a defensive airstrike was carried out in Kabul which resulted in secondary explosions. Those explosions, US officials say, may have been what killed the civilians.
Relatives say they found the remains of one of the girls, Malika, in the rubble near their home on Monday. It was unclear whether Malika had been inside the vehicle or in the compound when the strike hit.
A brother of those killed in the airstrike said, “We were an ordinary family. We were not ISIS, or Daesh, and this was our family home where my brothers lived.”
On Monday, relatives of the victims were able to identify the remains of those killed in the airstrike. The 2-year-old girls, Malika and Sumaya, were among the names marked on the coffins. The slogan “death to America” was raised at their funerals later in the day.
People who witnessed the drone strike in Kabul told newsmen that several people were killed, including children.
“We all tried to help; we put out the fire and saw that at least five people were dead. “The father of the family and another young boy and there were two children. They were dead. They were in pieces!”
Another witness claims at least 20 people may have been killed in the strike. “We can’t be sure as their house has been completely destroyed and nothing is recognizable.”
The names of people among those killed following the US drone strike in Kabul are: Farzad, age 9, Faisal, age 10, Zemaray, age 40, Zamir, age 20, Naseer, age 30, Binyamen, age 3, Armin, age 4, Sumaya, age 2.
US officials have acknowledged reports of civilian casualties and say they are investigating the incident.
In a statement issued on Sunday night, the US military said “significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material” which “may have caused additional casualties.”
Sunday’s drone strike on a vehicle is the second by US forces targeting the ISIS-K terror group in the space of three days.
The Taliban, which is now in control of Afghanistan, condemned the strike, saying the US had violated the country’s sovereignty.
A Taliban spokesperson told newsmen that it was “not right to conduct operations on others’ soil.”
US officials say the vehicle targeted in Sunday’s airstrike on Kabul was next to a building and contained a suicide bomber.