Washington: The US is investigating whether civilians were killed in an air strike launched to destroy a car laden with explosives in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital, according to a CENTCOM spokesman on Sunday.
The statement came after CNN reported that nine family members, including six children, were killed in an air strike in the crowded capital, where thousands of Afghans are still fleeing the Taliban.
The report has not been confirmed by AFP. The strike also claimed the lives of civilians, according to local media.
“We are aware of reports of civilian casualties as a result of our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today,” CENTCOM spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement.
“We are still assessing the results of this strike, which we know disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat to the airport,” he added, using an acronym for the Islamic State group’s Afghan branch, which carried out a suicide attack at the airport on Thursday.
“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,” Urban added. “It’s unclear what happened, and we’re looking into it further.”
“Any potential loss of innocent life would deeply sadden us,” he said.
The US air strike came after a suicide bomber from the Islamic State group targeted US troops on Thursday, preventing large crowds from entering the airport as they attempted to flee the new Taliban regime.
Hundreds of people were killed in the attack, including 13 US service members.
According to a Taliban spokesman, the car that was destroyed by the US strike was on its way to Kabul’s airport.
Since the Taliban retook power on August 15, approximately 114,000 people have been evacuated. The United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan is scheduled to be completed by Tuesday.