The United States launched a defensive drone strike against a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed “imminent” threat to the airport in Kabul, U.S. military officials said.
“U.S. military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport,” U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Spokesperson Captain Bill Urban said in a statement on Aug. 29.
“We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” Urban added.
Urban also said that CENTCOM was assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties.
A U.S. official told CNN that the targeted vehicle was next to a building and contained one suicide bomber.
However, one man told CNN that “three people were inside the car.”
Other witnesses at the scene in Kabul told CNN that the drone strike killed several people, including children.
Taliban Spokesperson Bilal Kareemi condemned the drone strike, telling CNN that it was “not right to conduct operations on others’ soil.”
The drone strike on Aug. 29 is the second known airstrike launched by the U.S. against ISIS-K terrorists since a suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport last Aug. 26 killed at least 170 people, including 13 U.S. service members, and wounded around 200 people.
The U.S. launched the first drone strike in eastern Nangarhar province in Afghanistan last Aug. 27, killing two “high-profile” ISIS-K targets and wounding one, U.S. Defense officials said.
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