SIX people, including four children, were killed in a US drone strike in Kabul, Afghan TV reported yesterday, citing eyewitnesses.
Earlier, US officials said that the strike had targeted ‘multiple Daesh suicide bombers’ who were believed to be on their way to Kabul’s airport as the American evacuation effort continues.
The TV broadcaster initially reported that the rocket hit the Khwaja Bughra area of Kabul, where two people were killed and three others injured when it hit a residential house in Kabul’s 11th security district.
Witnesses also said that children and women were among the victims.
A video emerged online, showing black smoke rising from buildings in the area where the explosion reportedly happened.
US officials said the operation, which involved a missile launched from a drone, targeted a suicide bomber in a vehicle who was aiming to carry out an attack at Kabul airport.
‘We are confident we hit the target we were aiming for,’ a military official told the BBC’s US partner network CBS.
‘Initial reports indicate there were no civilian casualties,’ the official said, adding: ‘Secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.’
The attack comes just after US President Joe Biden said that if diplomacy does not resolve the Iranian nuclear crisis, America ‘is ready to turn to other options’.
He was speaking in Washington after the first face-to-face talks with Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennett.
Bennett praised Biden’s stance, and his vow to never let Iran acquire nuclear weapons.
The meeting had been delayed for 24 hours following the deadly attack by the IS group at Kabul airport.
Bennett, who took office in June, had said the issue of Iran’s nuclear programme would be top of the agenda in his talks with Biden.
Following 50 minutes of talks at the White House, Biden told reporters the US was willing to take unspecified measures if negotiations with Iran do not get results.
‘We’re putting diplomacy first and see where that takes us.
‘But if diplomacy fails, we’re ready to turn to other options,’ he said.
In response Bennett reiterated the point, saying: ‘I was happy to hear your clear words that Iran will never be able to acquire a nuclear weapon and that you emphasise that you will try the diplomatic route, but there’s other options if that doesn’t work out.’