Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
A US drone strike in Kabul last month killed as many 10 civilians, including seven children, a senior American general has said.
Senior US officers had said the August 29 strike that took place as foreign forces completed the last stages of their withdrawal from Afghanistan targeted an Islamic States suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to Kabul airport.
“It was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology,” US general Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, told reporters on Friday.
He added that he now believed that it unlikely that the vehicle hit or those who died were Islamic State militants or posed a direct threat to US forces at Kabul’s airport.
He continued: “At the time of the strike, I was confident that the strike had averted an imminent threat to our forces at the airport. Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake.”
The Pentagon was considering reparations for the civilians killed, McKenzie said.
Reports had emerged almost immediately that the drone strike had killed civilians including children.
A spokesman for Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers, Zabihullah Mujahid, had said at the time that strike had killed seven people.