US Says Drone Kills Suicide Bombers Targeting Kabul Airport

3 weeks ago 7
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A U.S. drone onslaught Sunday struck a conveyance carrying “multiple termination bombers” from Afghanistan's Islamic State affiliate earlier they could people the ongoing subject evacuation astatine Kabul's planetary airport, American officials said.

There were fewer archetypal details astir the incident, arsenic good arsenic a rocket that struck a vicinity conscionable northwest of the airport, sidesplitting a child. The Taliban initially described the 2 strikes arsenic abstracted incidents, though accusation connected some remained scarce and witnesses heard lone 1 ample blast Sunday successful the Afghan capital.

The airstrike came arsenic the United States winds down a historical airlift that saw tens of thousands evacuated from Kabul’s planetary airport, the country of overmuch of the chaos that engulfed the Afghan superior since the Taliban took implicit 2 weeks ago. After an Islamic State affiliate’s termination onslaught that killed implicit 180 people, the Taliban accrued its information astir the airfield arsenic Britain ended its evacuation flights Saturday.

U.S. subject cargo planes continued their runs into the airdrome Sunday, up of a Tuesday deadline earlier acceptable by President Joe Biden to retreat each troops from America’s longest war. However, Afghans remaining down successful the state interest astir the Taliban reverting to their earlier oppressive regularisation — thing fueled by the caller shooting decease of a people vocalist successful the state by the insurgents.

Two American subject officials, who spoke connected information of anonymity to sermon subject operations, called the airstrike palmy and said the conveyance carried aggregate bombers.

U.S. Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesperson for the American military's Central Command, called the drone onslaught an enactment taken successful “self-defense.” He said authorities continued “assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we person nary indications astatine this time.”

“We are assured we successfully deed the target,” Urban said. “Significant secondary explosions from the conveyance indicated the beingness of a important magnitude of explosive material.”

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Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid earlier said successful a connection to journalists that the U.S. onslaught targeted a termination bomber arsenic helium drove a conveyance loaded with explosives. Mujahid offered fewer different details.

The onslaught was the 2nd by America since the airdrome termination bombing. On Saturday, a onslaught successful Nangarhar state killed an Islamic State subordinate believed to beryllium progressive successful readying attacks against the United States successful Kabul.

The Sunni extremists of IS, with links to the group’s much well-known affiliate successful Syria and Iraq, person carried retired a bid of brutal attacks, chiefly targeting Afghanistan’s Shiite Muslim minority, including a 2020 battle connected a maternity infirmary successful Kabul successful which they killed women and infants.

The Taliban person fought against Islamic State militants successful Afghanistan, wherever the Taliban person wrested backmost power astir 20 years aft they were ousted successful a U.S.-led invasion. The Americans went successful pursuing the 9/11 attacks, which al-Qaida orchestrated portion being sheltered by the group.

The rocket onslaught struck Kabul's Khuwja Bughra neighborhood, said Rashid, the Kabul constabulary main who goes by 1 name. Video obtained by The Associated Press successful the aftermath of the onslaught showed fume rising from gathering astatine the tract astir a kilometer (half a mile) from the airport.

No radical instantly claimed the attack, nevertheless militants person fired rockets successful the past.

Meanwhile, the household of a people vocalist northbound of Kabul accidental the Taliban killed him nether unclear circumstances successful caller days.

The shooting of Fawad Andarabi came successful the Andarabi Valley for which helium was named, an country of Baghlan state immoderate 100 kilometers (60 miles) northbound of Kabul. The vale had seen upheaval since the Taliban takeover, with immoderate districts successful the country coming nether the power of militia fighters opposed to the Taliban rule. The Taliban accidental they person since retaken those areas, though neighboring Panjshir successful the Hindu Kush mountains remains the lone 1 of Afghanistan's 34 provinces not nether its control.

The Taliban antecedently came retired to Andarabi's location and searched it, adjacent drinking beverage with the musician, his lad Jawad Andarabi told the AP. But thing changed Friday.

“He was innocent, a vocalist who lone was entertaining people,” his lad said. “They changeable him successful the caput connected the farm.”

His lad said helium wanted justness and that a section Taliban assembly promised to punish his father's killer.

Mujahid, the Taliban spokesman, told the AP that the insurgents would analyse the incident, but had nary different details connected the killing.

Andarabi played the ghichak, a bowed lute, and sang accepted songs astir his birthplace, his radical and Afghanistan arsenic a whole. A video onlineshowed him astatine 1 performance, sitting connected a rug with the mountains of location surrounding him arsenic helium sang.

“There is nary state successful the satellite similar my homeland, a arrogant nation,” helium sang. “Our beauteous valley, our great-grandparents' homeland."

Karima Bennoune, the United Nations peculiar rapporteur connected taste rights, wrote connected Twitter that she had “grave concern” implicit Andarabi's killing.

“We telephone connected governments to request the Taliban respect the #humanrights of #artists,” she wrote.

Agnes Callamard, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, likewise decried the killing.

“There is mounting grounds that the Taliban of 2021 is the aforesaid arsenic the intolerant, violent, repressive Taliban of 2001," she wrote connected Twitter. “20 years later. Nothing has changed connected that front.”

Also connected Sunday, backstage banks crossed Afghanistan resumed their operations. However, they constricted withdrawals to nary much than the equivalent of $200 a day.

While immoderate complained of inactive being incapable to entree their money, authorities employees accidental they haven't been paid implicit the past 4 months. The Afghani traded astir 90.5 to $1, continuing its depreciation arsenic billions of dollars successful the country's reserves stay frozen overseas.

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Akhgar reported from Istanbul, Baldor from Washington and Gambrell from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

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