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US admits to mistakenly killing seven boys in drone strike in Afghanistan

2021-09-17T22:15:59.229Z

He had originally claimed that the victim had been an Islamic State extremist, but in reality 10 innocent civilians were killed.



09/17/2021 18:12

  • Clarín.com

  • World

Updated 9/17/2021 6:12 PM

The Pentagon on Friday retracted its description of a drone strike that killed multiple people in Afghanistan last month, saying a review revealed that

only civilians were killed in the attack

 and not an ISIS extremist, as believed in a beginning.

"The attack was a tragic mistake,"

said General of the Navy Frank McKenzie, head of the United States Central Command, at a press conference at the Pentagon, reproduced by the AFP agency.

Days after the Aug. 29 attack, Pentagon officials claimed it was carried out correctly, despite the fact that 10 civilians were killed, including

seven children.

The media questioned that version of events, reporting that the driver of the attacked vehicle was a long-time employee of a U.S. humanitarian organization, in addition to noting the lack of evidence to support the Pentagon's claim that the vehicle contained explosives.

McKenzie said the vehicle was attacked "in the sincere belief" that it posed an imminent threat.

"I am now convinced that up to 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that attack," McKenzie said.

"Furthermore, we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K, or with a direct threat to US forces," he added, referring to the ISIS group's affiliate in Afghanistan.

McKenzie

apologized for the mistake

and said the United States is studying the possibility of

paying compensation

to the families of the victims.

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters two days after the attack that it appeared to have been a "justified" attack and that at least one of the people killed was a "facilitator" of the Afghan affiliate of the ISIS, which had

killed 169 Afghan civilians and 13 US military personnel

in a suicide bombing on August 26 at the Kabul airport.

Following McKenzie's remarks, Milley expressed regret.

"This is a horrible war tragedy and it is heartbreaking," Milley told reporters traveling with him in Europe. "We are committed to being fully transparent about this incident."

"In a dynamic, high-threat environment, commanders on the ground had the appropriate authority and had reasonable certainty that the target was valid, but upon further post-attack analysis our conclusion is that innocent civilians were killed," he added. Milley.

LM

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Source: clarin

All news articles on 2021-09-17

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