A US drone strike in Kabul has wiped out a family — including young kids — with heartbroken relatives saying they struggled to find their remains.
An Afghan family has been left to pick through the rubble for the remains of children after a US drone strike killed 10 people, including a number of children.
The Ahmadi family had been playing near their home in Kwaja Burga, a densely populated neighbourhood in Kabul, when the missile appeared out of nowhere.
The missile struck a car, that the US earlier claimed was laden with explosives, obliterating the lives of 10 people in an instant.
On Sunday, the United States claimed it destroyed the vehicle in an air strike to thwart a bid by the Islamic State to detonate a car bomb at Kabul airport.
But on Monday, it looked as if they could have made a terrible mistake.
“The rocket came and hit the car full of kids inside our house,” said Aimal Ahmadi, the brother of the man who owned the car.
“It killed all of them.”
Aimal said 10 members of the family died in the air strike — including his own daughter and five other children.
Aimal told AFP he had lost his daughter and his nephews and nieces. Aimal’s brother Ezmarai died, alongwith his four children.
“We are aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul,” Captain Bill Urban, a US Central Command spokesman, said in a statement yesterday.
Mr Urban said the strike on the vehicle “disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat to the airport”.
Mr Urban said the US military was investigating whether civilians were killed, noting there were “substantial and powerful subsequent explosions” that resulted from the destruction of the vehicle.
“It is unclear what may have happened and we are investigating further,” he said.
“We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life.”
The United States withdrew its final troops from Afghanistan late last night, but not before ISIS-K was able to detonate suicide bombs near Kabul International Airport, killing at least 100 Afghans and 13 US soldiers.
Against that backdrop, US intelligence had warned of another imminent attack, and on Sunday the US military said it had stopped one before it happened.
Sabir, a neighbour of the Ahmadi family, told AFP it was almost impossible to find remains of the bodies.
“All the children were killed inside the car, the adults were killed just outside. The car was on fire — we could hardly find body parts,” he said.
A mass funeral for the family took place yesterday, with the anguish clearly showing on the relatives’ faces.
The return to power a fortnight ago of the Taliban movement, which was toppled in 2001 when the United States invaded in retaliation for the carnage on 9/11, triggered a massive exodus of people who fear a new version of hard-line Islamist rule.
The evacuation flights got more than 123,000 people out of Kabul airport.