Posted by News Express | 30 August 2021 | 340 times
The White House said Monday operations “continue uninterrupted” at the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, after a rocket attack.
Witnesses reported multiple rockets, with a U.S. official telling Reuters they were intercepted by a missile defense system.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement that President Joe Biden had been briefed on the attack and “reconfirmed his order that commanders redouble their efforts to prioritize doing whatever is necessary to protect our forces on the ground.”
The United States is working to complete evacuations from Kabul ahead of a Tuesday deadline, and amid a worsening security situation that included a suicide attack outside the airport Thursday that killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members.
The U.S. military is also investigating reports of civilian casualties after it conducted an airstrike Sunday that it said eliminated “an imminent ISIS-K (Islamic State Khorasan) threat to Hamad Karzai International airport.”
“We would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life,” Captain Bill Urban, CENTCOM spokesperson, said in a statement Sunday night.
Urban said the results of the airstrike were still being assessed and that secondary explosions “may have caused additional casualties. It is unclear what may have happened, and we are investigating further.”
According to reporting in The New York Times, the drone strike or the secondary explosions killed as many as nine civilians, among them children.
Dina Mohammadi said her extended family resided in the building and that several of them were killed, including children, according to the Associated Press. She was not immediately able to provide the names or ages of the deceased.
Karim, a district representative, said the strike ignited a fire that made it difficult to rescue people. “There was smoke everywhere and I took some children and women out,” he said.
Ahmaduddin, a neighbor, said he had collected the bodies of children after the strike, which set off more explosions inside the house, AP reported.
The evacuation has airlifted about 120,00 people out of Kabul since the end of July, according to the White House as of early Sunday morning.
“This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission, these last couple of days,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told ABC’s This Week on Sunday.
Republican U.S. Senator Ben Sasse, also on ABC, criticized the Biden administration’s evacuation operations.
“There is clearly no plan. There has been no plan. Their plan has basically been happy talk,” he said.
Blinken said in an interview on CNN that about 300 American citizens are seeking evacuation from Afghanistan. (VOA)
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