Beijing: A Taliban spokesman said on Sunday that a US drone strike targeting a suspected suicide bomber in Kabul resulted in civilian casualties, and he chastised the US for failing to notify the Taliban before ordering the strike.
On Monday, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told China’s state television CGTN that seven people were killed in the drone attack, calling the US action on foreign soil illegal.
“If there was any potential threat in Afghanistan, it should have been reported to us, not an arbitrary attack that resulted in civilian casualties,” Mujahid wrote in response to CGTN.
Pentagon officials said the suicide car bomber planned to attack Kabul’s airport, where US troops were nearing the end of their withdrawal from Afghanistan, on behalf of ISIS-K, a local affiliate of the Islamic State that is an enemy of both the West and the Taliban.
The United States Central Command said it was looking into reports of civilian casualties from Sunday’s drone strike.
“We know that there were significant and powerful subsequent explosions as a result of the vehicle’s destruction, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties,” the report said.
Mujahid had issued a similar condemnation of a US drone strike on Saturday that killed two Islamic State militants in Nangarhar, Afghanistan’s eastern province. He stated that the attack injured two women and a child.