The US military is “aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today,” US Central Command spokesman Captain Bill Urban said in a statement on Sunday, after multiple reports suggested that civilians, including children, were killed in the explosion resulting from the strike.
“We know that there were substantial and powerful subsequent explosions resulting from the destruction of the vehicle, indicating a large amount of explosive material inside that may have caused additional casualties,” Urban said, adding that the US military is still “assessing” the outcome of the strike.
Washington’s tacit admission that civilians may have been killed its strike carried out in “self-defense” against an “imminent” threat comes after an Afghan official told AP that at least three children lost their lives in the blast, while CNN reported that nine members of the same family, six of them children, had perished in the strike.
“We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life,” Urban said.
Shortly after the strike, which according to both the US military and the Taliban destroyed a vehicle used by would-be suicide bombers, Urban said that there were “no indications” of civilian victims from the attack.
“We are assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time,“ the spokesman said immediately after the strike.
Hours later, US air defenses reportedly shot down several rockets launched towards Kabul’s airport.
Five rockets rained down on the area near Kabul airport on Monday morning, Reuters reported, citing a US official, who said that missile defense systems had been deployed to intercept the incoming projectiles.
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