Washington: The commander of US Central Command, Gen Kenneth McKenzie has tendered an apology to the families who died in a US drone strike on August 29 in Afghanistan. McKenzie acknowledged that the 10 civilians, including seven children were mistakenly attacked as the Islamic State extremists.
Soon after the strike, the Pentagon claimed it had bombed the Islamic State militants who posed a direct threat to US forces at Kabul's airport.
"I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike," McKenzie said admitting it was a mistake.
"I offer my profound condolences to the family and friends of those who were killed. This strike was taken in the earnest belief that it would prevent an imminent threat to our forces and the evacuees at the airport. But it was a mistake and I offer my sincere apology," he said during a press briefing.
News agencies raised doubts about tcivilianscivilianshe US military versions that led to the strike, citing that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organisation and citing an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon's assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.
McKenzie ordered an investigation by Central Command. It found that the strike killed Zemari Ahmadi, a worker for Nutrition and Education International, a non-government organisation that distributes food to Afghan civilians, along with nine members of his family. His car was reportedly carrying water bottles rather than explosives, reported the Guardian.