'A horrible mistake': US admits it killed 10 innocent civilians instead of Isis-K bombers

18 September 2021, 00:26

The US has apologised over the killings
The US has apologised over the killings. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

The US has admitted a drone strike in Kabul, days after an Isis-K suicide bombing, killed 10 innocent civilians including children.

The attack killed an aid worker and nine of his family members in Kabul on August 29, an investigation has found.

Fears soon emerged that innocent people had died in the attack, instead of terrorists.

It has now been confirmed that up to seven children were among the victims – despite previous US claims that the strike has eliminated an Isis facilitator in the wake of the deadly Kabul airport blast.

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Speaking on Friday, US Central Command's head, General Frank McKenzie, said: "I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike.

"Moreover, we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K or were a direct threat to U.S. forces."

It followed the killings of 13 US service personnel and well over 100 Afghans when a bomber from Isis-K – the terror group's Afghan network – attacked Kabul airport as foreign nations raced to get their citizens and refugees out of the country following the Taliban's takeover.

Gen McKenzie said intelligence indicated a white Toyota Corolla would be used to attack American troops.

A vehicle was seen moving from a compound thought to be used by Isis on August 29. Instead, it carried 10 civilians.

"Clearly our intelligence was wrong on this particular white Toyota Corolla," he admitted.

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin apologised for "a horrible mistake" and said the car's movements were "completely harmless and not at all related to the imminent threat we believed we faced".