(Update 2: Adds details, updates casualty count)
Kabul, Aug 29 (EFE).- The Taliban confirmed a deadly US drone attack on Sunday, an airstrike targeting a vehicle driving near the Kabul airport and killing at least six civilians.
The drone strike was carried out after an earlier explosion, also in the vicinity of the terminal, although the relationship between the two incidents – if any – is not yet clear.
“Now, we can confirm that US forces carried out an air attack against a suspicious automobile and destroyed it. The information now indicates that there were three people in the automobile,” Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi told EFE.
At least one person in the vehicle died in the strike, although the status of the other two occupants is not definitively known.
According to the Taliban spokesman, “There are reports of explosives that were found inside the vehicle that (did not detonate).”
“The US forces took control of the area, and for that reason our investigation in the zone is being hindered. Now, US forces are investigating the details of the attack,” he added.
The attack came closely following an explosion near the Kabul airport, which damaged a civilian home.
According to the Taliban, a rocket fired from an unknown location hit “a house in the residential zone of Police District 15, near the Kabul airport.”
The rocket was a BM-1 missile, Qari Rashed, a Kabul police official, told EFE.
A doctor at the hospital where victims of the missile strike were taken told EFE, on condition of anonymity, that six people died at the site, several of them children, and five other people were transported to the medical center with injuries from the blast.
According to Afghan news channel Tolo, the blast occurred at about 5:30 pm. So far, there has been no claim of responsibility.
The first attack was also confirmed by the spokesman for the US Central Command, Capt. Bill Urban, who said that the US drone targeted a vehicle in Kabul that posed an “imminent” Islamic State threat to the Kabul airport, where thousands of US troops are carrying out the final stages of evacuating American citizens and Afghan collaborators in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the country, including the capital.
He said that the US military was “confident” that it had successfully hit its target in the attack.
Once the drone hit the automobile, there were “significant secondary explosions,” ostensibly meaning that the vehicle was transporting “a substantial quantity” of explosive material, the CENTCOM spokesman said.
Both incidents came three days after at least 170 people were killed and scores were injured in a terrorist attack claimed by an affiliate of the Islamic State group. Thirteen US military personnal were also killed in that suicide bombing, responsibility for which was claimed by the Islamic State-K group.
The Pentagon warned less than 24 hours ago about “credible threats” of additional terrorist attacks on its mission in Afghanistan, which is focused around the Kabul airport.
According to the warning, the threats of attacks in Afghanistan could be the most “dangerous” to date, after the Thursday suicide bombing, which was immediately followed by other ISIS-K fighters spraying the vicinity with automatic rifle fire, killing and injuring even more people.
The attack – one of the worst massacres staged in the Afghan capital – was carried out by at least one suicide bomber who managed to get through a Taliban checkpoint and approach a US checkpoint where hundreds of Afghans were gathered hoping to be allowed in to the airport so they could leave the country on board one of the US evacuation flights.
Reportedly, when the bomber got close to the US troops processing people at the checkpoint, he detonated his explosive belt, killing and injuring hundreds in the crowd.