Afghanistan's ruling Taliban - Sunday's drone strike in Kabul, likely latest U.S. blunder in Afghanistan
Sylvie Claire / August 31, 2021
When Ezmarai Ahmadi returned home Sunday in Kabul, he handed the keys to his sedan to his son, saw the other children in the house happily scurrying around in the car. Then an American missile crashed into it, his brother said, killing 10 people.
The missile came and hit the car full of children parked in the compound of our house, recalled Aimal Ahmadi, Ezmarai's brother, on Monday from Kwaja Burga, a densely populated neighborhood in northwest Kabul. He killed them all. According to Aimal Ahmadi, 10 family members died in the airstrike, including his own daughter and five other children. On Monday, when AFP visited the scene of the strike, the grieving father was anxiously awaiting the arrival of relatives to help him organize the burial of most of his family members. My brother and his four children were killed. I lost my granddaughter, nephews and nieces, he listed sadly in front of the carcass of the vehicle, which had turned into a pile of burnt metal. We are aware that civilian casualties have been reported as a result of our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today, U.S. Army Central Command (Centcom) spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement Sunday. The U.S. said the same day that it destroyed an explosives-laden vehicle in an airstrike, thwarting an attempt by the jihadist group Islamic State to detonate a car bomb at Kabul airport.
The strike could be the latest blunder in Afghanistan by the U.S. military, whose last soldiers left Kabul on Monday night after 20 years of war against the Taliban and dozens, perhaps hundreds, of civilians killed as collateral damage. These words ring hollow to Aimal, who finds it hard to believe that his brother could have been mistaken for an Islamic State sympathizer, let alone a suicide bomber planning a deadly car bombing. Ezmarai was an engineer working for an NGO, an ordinary Afghan trying to make ends meet in a time of great instability, he explained. But American nerves had been frayed since an EI suicide bomber set off a powerful explosion at the airport's entrance Thursday, killing about 100 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, as huge crowds tried to get inside the compound in hopes of getting out of Afghanistan. We know there were large, powerful explosions following the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside, which may have caused additional casualties, Urban said. It is unclear what happened, and we are still investigating.