US offers payments, relocation to family of Afghans killed in botched drone attack

Pentagon says it is also working to relocate any of those relatives to the US, almost two months after Kabul strike

The Pentagon has offered unspecified condolence payments to the family of 10 civilians who were killed in a botched US drone attack in Afghanistan in August during the final days before American troops withdrew from the country.

The US defence department said it made a commitment that included offering “ex-gratia condolence payments”, in addition to working with the US state department in support of the family members who were interested in relocation to the United States.

Colin Kahl, the US under secretary of defence for policy, held a virtual meeting on Thursday with Steven Kwon, the founder and president of Nutrition & Education International, the aid organisation that employed Zemari Ahmadi, who was killed in the 29 August drone attack, the Pentagon press secretary, John Kirby, said.

Ahmadi and the others who were killed in the strike were innocent victims who bore no blame and were not affiliated with Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) or posed a threat to US forces, Kirby said.

The drone strike in Kabul killed as many as 10 civilians, including seven children.

The Pentagon had said earlier that the 29 August strike targeted an Islamic State suicide bomber who posed an imminent threat to US-led troops at the airport as they completed the last stages of their withdrawal from Afghanistan.

However, reports had emerged almost immediately that the drone strike in a neighbourhood west of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai international airport had killed civilians including children.

Video from the scene showed the wreckage of a car strewn around the courtyard of a building. The Pentagon later said the strike was a “tragic mistake”.

The strike came three days after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 13 US troops and scores of Afghan civilians who had crowded outside the airport gates, desperate to secure seats on evacuation flights.

The killing of civilians also raised questions about the future of US counter-terrorism strikes in Afghanistan.

With Reuters and Agence France-Presse

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
US releases video of Afghanistan drone strike that killed 10 civilians
Pentagon declassifies footage from Kabul strike it defended but later admitted was an ‘honest mistake’

Staff and agencies

20, Jan, 2022 @1:47 AM

Article image
Afghan civilians killed by RAF drone
Exclusive: Airstrike in Helmand province is first confirmed operation in which Reaper aircraft has caused civilian deaths

Nick Hopkins

05, Jul, 2011 @8:45 PM

Afghan civilians killed in Nato air strike, say villagers – video

A Nato air strike in Afghanistan's Logar province has killed 18 civilians, including women and children, along with six Taliban insurgents, according to local officials

07, Jun, 2012 @9:29 AM

Article image
US drone strike mistakenly targeted Afghan aid worker, investigation finds
Zemari Ahmadi, who died alongside nine others including seven children, had no connection to terrorism, a New York Times investigation suggested

Richard Luscombe

11, Sep, 2021 @3:18 PM

Article image
Pakistan condemns US drone strike that killed Taliban leader Mansoor
Interior minister says attack violated sovereignty and ruined chance of peace talks between militants and Afghanistan

Jon Boone in Islamabad

24, May, 2016 @5:36 PM

Article image
Obama regrets drone strike that killed hostages but hails US for transparency
US counter-terrorism operation in January killed two hostages – American doctor Warren Weinstein and Italian citizen Giovanni Lo Porto

Paul Lewis and Spencer Ackerman in New York and Jon Boone in Islamabad

23, Apr, 2015 @6:41 PM

Article image
US to pay €1m to family of Italian aid worker killed in drone strike
Landmark deal follows US admission that Giovanni Lo Porto and Warren Weinstein were killed in counter-terrorism mission

Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Rome

16, Sep, 2016 @9:27 AM

Article image
Afghan civilians count cost of renewed US air campaign
As rate of airstrike casualties rises, Donald Trump’s expansion of conflict could strain relations between Kabul and Washington

Sune Engel Rasmussen Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent

05, Sep, 2017 @4:00 AM

Article image
Suspected US drone strike targeting Isis killed civilians in Afghanistan, UN says
Officials did not mention the US specifically, but said the airstrike had been carried out by an international drone – which only the US military operates

Sune Engel Rasmussen in Jalalabad

29, Sep, 2016 @7:26 PM

Afghan civilians killed in British-ordered air strike

Defence sources concede that there is 'high possibility' British aircraft were involved in the deaths of four civilians in an ambush the southern province of Helmand

Richard Norton-Taylor

13, Mar, 2008 @12:14 AM