A US drone strike in Kabul on Sunday caused civilian casualties, according to Afghan officials as well as the Taliban. CENTCOM spokesperson says the US is aware of reports of civilian casualties and is still investigating.
The US military is investigating civilian casualties in a drone strike it launched on a vehicle suspected of being used for a planned attack in Afghanistan, saying it may have caused “additional casualties”.
An Afghan official said three children were killed in the drone strike near Kabul’s airport. Witnesses to the blast say several citizens were killed or wounded.
"US officials were aware of the reports of civilian casualties and were still investigating," a spokesperson for US Central Command, Navy Capt. Bill Urban, said.
Urban said the strike disrupted an imminent threat on the Kabul airport but added: ”We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.”
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the strike targeting a suspected suicide bomber in Kabul on Sunday killed seven civilians.
"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 Chinese state television CGTN. He described the US action on foreign soil as unlawful.
The US believes that two Daesh terror group's members who were targeted were killed.
Separately, a US official said the drone fired a Hellfire missile at a vehicle in a compound between two buildings when individuals were seen loading explosives into the trunk.
The official said there was an initial explosion caused by the missile, followed by a much larger fireball, believed to be the result of the substantial amount of explosives inside the vehicle.
In his statement, Urban said those powerful subsequent explosions may have caused civilian casualties.
According to officials, the secondary explosion did significant damage to one of the buildings next to the vehicle.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss information about a military operation.