KABUL – A U.S. drone strike concentrating on the Islamic State killed 10 civilians in Kabul, together with a number of babies, relations informed The Washington Put up on Monday.

The lifeless had been all from a single prolonged household and had been getting out of a automotive of their driveway when the strike hit a close-by automobile, stated Abdul Matin Azizi, a neighbor who noticed the assault. Azizi, 20, stated the explosion occurred because the household returned dwelling Sunday afternoon.

Mourners gathered at a neighbor’s dwelling beneath the shade of a grape arbor. A lady, her face uncooked from sobbing, approached the backyard’s entrance in hysterics.

“I misplaced my daughter, I misplaced my coronary heart,” she screamed, calling out to God earlier than a bunch of girls surrounded her, making an attempt to calm her down. Suma Ahmadi’s 2-year-old daughter and three of her brothers had been killed within the explosion, stated Ahmad Fayaz, a relative.

Rising faint and unable to talk, Ahmadi was helped again into the shade. Fayaz stated she was in hysterics all evening, unable to sleep or eat. In whole, eight kids and younger adults had been killed within the assault, Fayaz stated, however the actual ages of the victims had been unclear.

[Fear and anticipation on the streets of Kabul as Afghans adapt to Taliban rule]

The Taliban condemned the assault and introduced it’s investigating allegations of civilian casualties.

U.S. Central Command stated the strike Sunday destroyed an Islamic State automotive bomb that posed an “imminent” menace to Kabul’s airport.

“We’re conscious of experiences of civilian casualties following our strike on a automobile in Kabul,” it stated in a press release Sunday. “It’s unclear what might have occurred, and we’re investigating additional. We might be deeply saddened by any potential lack of harmless life.”

In the meantime, Islamic State militants fired a volley of rockets at Kabul’s quickly emptying worldwide airport on Monday, with simply hours left earlier than a deadline for U.S. forces to withdraw on the finish of America’s longest battle.

The Pentagon is tight-lipped about remaining operations and has not specified when the withdrawal can be accomplished forward of Tuesday’s deadline. However spokesman John Kirby informed reporters “there may be nonetheless time” for Individuals to affix a large airlift that has allowed greater than 116,000 folks to go away for the reason that Taliban swept again into energy two weeks in the past.

All day Monday, U.S. navy cargo jets got here and went regardless of the rocket assault, which didn’t damage anybody. The Taliban launched a video shot from the airport’s grounds, saying the Individuals had eliminated or destroyed most of their gear and that troop numbers had been far decrease. “It seems to be like as we speak would be the final day,” one of many unidentified fighters stated.

With the departure of the final of its troops, the U.S. is ending its 20-year battle with the Taliban again in energy. Many Afghans stay scared of them or additional instability, and there have been sporadic experiences of killings and different abuses in areas beneath Taliban management regardless of pledges to revive peace and safety.

Within the final 24 hours, the American navy evacuated about 1,200 folks on 26 C-17 flights, whereas two coalition flights flew out 50 others, the White Home stated.

The 2-week airlift has introduced scenes of desperation and horror. Within the early days, folks determined to flee Taliban rule flooded onto the tarmac and a few fell to their deaths after clinging to a departing plane. On Thursday, an Islamic State suicide assault at an airport gate killed at the very least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.

The extremist group is way extra radical than the Taliban, who captured most of Afghanistan in a matter of days. The 2 teams have fought one another earlier than, and the Taliban have pledged to not harbor terrorist teams.

The Taliban tightened their safety cordon across the airport after the assault, clearing away large crowds of Afghans who had been determined to flee the nation within the waning days of the U.S.-led airlift. Taliban fighters are actually stationed alongside a fence close to the principle runway.

A crowd rapidly gathered Monday across the stays of a four-door sedan used within the rocket assault. The automotive had what seemed to be six home made rocket tubes mounted instead of its again seats.

“I used to be inside the home with my kids and different relations. All of the sudden there have been some blasts,” stated Jaiuddin Khan, who lives close by. “We jumped into the home compound and lay on the bottom.”

[Fear and anticipation on the streets of Kabul as Afghans adapt to Taliban rule]

A number of the rockets landed throughout city, placing residential residence blocks, witnesses stated. That neighborhood is about 3 kilometers (beneath 2 miles) from the airport. No accidents had been reported.

5 rockets focused the airport, stated Navy Capt. Invoice City, a U.S. navy spokesman. A defensive weapon generally known as a C-RAM — a Counter-Rocket, Artillery and Mortar System — focused the rockets in a whirling hail of ammunition, he stated. The system has a definite, drill-like sound that echoed by way of the town on the time of the assault.

An IS assertion, carried by the group’s Amaq media outlet, claimed the militants fired six rockets.

The White Home stated President Joe Biden was briefed on the rocket assault.

“The president was knowledgeable that operations proceed uninterrupted at HKIA, and has reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing no matter is important to guard our forces on the bottom,” the assertion stated, utilizing an acronym for Kabul’s airport.

Planes took off about each 20 minutes at one level Monday morning. One C-17 touchdown within the afternoon shot off flares because it approached — a maneuver to guard in opposition to heat-seeking missiles and an indication the U.S. navy stays involved about surface-to-air missiles unfastened within the nation.

Smoke from a number of fires alongside the airport’s perimeter might be seen. It wasn’t clear what was ablaze, though U.S. forces usually destroy materials and gear they don’t take with them.

The airport had been one of many few methods out for foreigners and Afghans fleeing the Taliban. Nonetheless, coalition nations have halted their evacuations in current days, leaving the U.S. navy largely alone there with some remaining allied Afghan forces.

The U.S. State Division launched a press release Sunday signed by about 100 nations, in addition to NATO and the European Union, saying that they had obtained “assurances” from the Taliban that individuals with journey paperwork would nonetheless have the ability to depart.

The Taliban have stated they may permit regular journey after the U.S. withdrawal is accomplished on Tuesday they usually take management of the airport. Nonetheless, it’s unclear how the militants will run the airport and which business carriers will start flying in, given the continuing safety issues.

Qatar confirmed to The Related Press on Monday that the Gulf nation has been participating in negotiations about operations on the airport with Afghan and worldwide events, primarily the U.S. and Turkey. Qatar’s Assistant Overseas Minister Lolwa al-Khater stated its major precedence is restoring common operations whereas sustaining safety on the airport. Qatar is a U.S. ally that has lengthy hosted a Taliban political workplace.

The Taliban have honored a pledge to not assault Western forces as long as they evacuate by Tuesday.


Washington Put up reporter Susannah George contributed. Related Press writers Kathy Gannon in Kabul, Jon Gambrell in Dubai, Rahim Faiez in Istanbul, Munir Ahmed in Islamabad, Samy Magdy in Cairo, Joseph Krauss in Jerusalem and Robert Burns and Lou Kesten in Washington contributed.

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