U.S. Strikes Explosive-Laden Automobile in Kabul | Latest News Table

U.S. Strikes Explosive-Laden Automobile in Kabul

WASHINGTON — A U.S. army drone strike blew up a car laden with explosives in Kabul on Sunday, Protection Division officers stated, hours after President Biden had warned that one other terrorist assault towards the Afghan capital’s airport was “extremely possible.”

The strike, which got here two days earlier than Mr. Biden’s deadline to withdraw from the nation, eradicated an imminent menace to Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport from the Islamic State Khorasan group, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command stated. The group had claimed duty for the suicide bombing on the airport on Thursday that killed 13 American service members and as many as 170 civilians.

The spokesman, Capt. Invoice City, stated the army was making an attempt to find out whether or not the strike had prompted civilian casualties, although he famous that there was no fast proof of that.

“We’re assured we efficiently hit the goal,” he stated. “Vital secondary explosions from the car indicated the presence of a considerable quantity of explosive materials.”

A senior army official stated the US was assured that no civilians have been within the car, however acknowledged that the secondary explosions might need prompted some “collateral harm.”

Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the Taliban, stated that civilians had suffered casualties within the strike and {that a} home had been focused. “We’re investigating the rationale of the airstrike and the precise variety of casualties,” he stated.

The strike adopted a retaliatory strike on Friday for the suicide bombing, which was one of many deadliest within the practically 20 years because the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan. Earlier on Sunday, the U.S. Embassy in Kabul had stated that there was a “particular, credible menace” to the airport space. State Division officers have issued a number of comparable warnings in latest days.

As American troops transfer to finish their withdrawal, the Pentagon has shifted its focus from vetting and airlifting Afghan and American civilians to bringing its personnel dwelling. On the similar time, U.S. intelligence sources are refining goal websites for doable drone strikes on suspected Islamic State militants, particularly suicide bombers aiming to assault the airport.

The strike on Sunday, which was carried out by an MQ-9 Reaper drone working from a base within the United Arab Emirates, demonstrated the diploma to which American intelligence officers have refined their goal record, protection officers stated. A Hellfire missile fired from the Reaper hit the car roughly two miles from the airport, a army official stated.

Primarily based on the secondary explosions after the drone strike, the army assessed that there have been one to a few individuals within the car carrying explosive vests. There could have been different explosives within the automotive, making it a vehicle-borne bomb itself, two protection officers stated.

Prior to now 24 hours, the US has evacuated about 2,000 individuals on army transport planes, together with greater than 100 Americans. The army decided that there have been nonetheless about 250 Individuals in Kabul who had expressed a need to depart.

Jake Sullivan, the nationwide safety adviser, talking on “Fox Information Sunday,” stated the variety of Americans in Kabul could also be nearer to 300. “There are some individuals who have chosen, to date, to not depart and that’s their proper,” he stated.

“They don’t seem to be going to be caught in Afghanistan” after Tuesday, Mr. Sullivan added. “We’re going to be certain that we’ve got a mechanism to get them overseas ought to they select sooner or later to come back dwelling.”

Army officers stated that that they had no indication that Mr. Biden would ask the army to remain previous Tuesday to get extra Individuals or weak Afghans overseas.

However the drone strike on Sunday demonstrated how harmful the final two days in America’s 20-year battle can be, protection officers acknowledged. The strike follows the one on Friday on a car in Nangarhar Province, close to the Pakistan border, which the Pentagon press secretary, John F. Kirby, stated killed two “high-profile” Islamic State militants — one a “planner” and one a “facilitator.”

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