US drone strike may have killed aid worker, children, and not ISIS-K militants: Reports

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Sep 11, 2021, 07:47 AM(IST)

A car destroyed after a drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

A Kabul resident Aimal Ahmadi had earlier told a news agency that the drone strike had taken lives of 10 civilians, including his young daughter, nephews, nieces and his brother Ezmarai Ahmadi.

A recent video evidence of the airstrike by the US in Kabul shows that the American authorities may have mistakenly targeted an aid worker rather than ISIS-K members.

Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 16 as the former leader Ashraf Ghani fled the country, leaving the locals to defend themselves. After that the US and other countries started evacuating their citizens and allies from the country through the Kabul International airport. The airport was, therefore, secured by the American forces.

Also read | US conducts drone strike on explosive-laden car in Kabul

While Taliban assured there would be no unjustified attacks, ISIS-K was unhappy by Taliban’s rise to power in the country and decided to get its own revenge. Members of ISIS-K attacked the airport which led to killing of few civilians, injuring many, and death of at least 13 American troops.

To get justice for the death of the US soldiers, the American forces launched a drone strike in a residential area on August 29 — a day before leaving Afghan soil.

While the US claimed this attack was successfully targeted at ISIS-K militants who were readying themselves to launch another suicide attack at the Kabul Airport, the New York Times has claimed that the American attack may have killed an aid worker instead.

WION had earlier too reported the chilling details of the death of Ezmarai Ahmadi due to the US drone strike.

When Ahmadi pulled his car into the driveway around 4:30 pm (Kabul time) that day, he was accompanied with his son, nieces, nephews and a few other relatives. His 12-year-old son, Farhad, had requested his father to let him park the car. However, when Ahmadi put Farzad in the driver’s seat and switched over to the passenger side, the "American missile" hit the car and a deadly explosion took place, immediately taking lives of 10 people present there.

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"This was my best friend’s house. He was an engineer and had nothing to do with the army or with Talibs (Taliban) or anyone else either. 10 people were killed including seven children. There’s a lot of fear because of the strike. I came here after five minutes and saw the people lying in terrible condition. I did the best I could," deceased's friend said minutes after the incident.

The US had claimed they were targeting a parked vehicle which was to be used in the suicide attack. Ahmadi, however, claims that the targeted vehicle was parked and was being driven by his brother, Ezmarai Ahmadi, a little before the attack.

Security camera footage, scanned by experts of New York Times, also reveals that there is a huge possibility that the US may have seen Ahmadi and his colleague loading water canisters in the vehicle and picking up a laptop for his boss.

The US had also justified their drone strike by stating that there was a second blast followed by the strike, which proved that the targeted vehicle was filled with explosives. However, New York Times has contested that claim too by saying there is no evidence of a second blast. NYT claims there was only one dent on a nearby gate and the lack of any blown-out walls or any other sign prove that there was no second blast that day.

Ezmarai Ahmadi was an electrical engineer who was working for a California-based aid Nutrition and Education International. He had also applied for repatriation from Afghanistan.

"As Chairman (Mark) Milley said, the strike was based on good intelligence, and we still believe that it prevented an imminent threat to the airport and to our men and women that were still serving at the airport," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby refuted the New York Times report.

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