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US offers to pay families of 10 people accidentally killed in Afghan drone strike

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Last month US officials admitted the drone strike was a mistake. (file)

Washington:

The United States on Friday said it has offered to pay unspecified compensation to the relatives of 10 people in Afghanistan, including seven children who were accidentally killed in a US drone strike as US forces complete their return. Was being

The Pentagon also said in a statement that it was working with the State Department to relocate to the United States any relatives who wish to leave Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.

The Pentagon said the offer to pay these people was made at a meeting Thursday between Colin Kahl, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, and Steven Kwon, the founder and chairman of an aid group operating in Afghanistan. Statement.

That organization hired Ezmarai Ahmadi, who had been falsely identified as an ISIS terrorist by US intelligence on August 29, during the final days of the chaotic US evacuation from Kabul.

US intelligence tracked his white Toyota for eight hours before the missile targeted the car, which killed seven children and three adults, including Ahmadi.

US Central Command commander General Kenneth McKenzie said at the time that US intelligence had spotted the vehicle at a site in Kabul, which had been identified as the location from which ISIS operatives were believed to be. They were preparing for an attack on Kabul airport.

Three days ago an ISIS-Khorasan suicide bomber killed several people, including 13 US service members, at the airport.

But last month US officials admitted the drone strike was a mistake.

At the meeting on Thursday “Dr. Kahl said the strike was a tragic mistake and that Mr. Ezmarai Ahmadi and the others who were killed were innocent victims with no blame and were not affiliated with ISIS-K or the US military. Didn’t threaten,” he said. A statement quoting Defense Department spokesman John Kirby.

“Dr. Kahl reiterates Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s commitment to families, including offering ex-gratia payments,” he said, without specifying how much money was offered.

Last month, the families of those killed in the attack had demanded compensation and a face-to-face apology.

Austin has apologized for the failed attack. However, Ahmadi’s 22-year-old nephew Farshad Hydari said it was not enough.

“They should come here and apologize to us face-to-face,” he told AFP at a bombed, modest house in the densely populated Kwaja Burga in Kabul.

Hydari, whose brother Nasser and younger cousins ​​were also killed in the blast, said on September 18 that the US had made no direct contact with the family.

At the meeting on Thursday, NEI chief Kwon described how Ahmadi worked with that aid organization “for many years, providing care and life-saving support for people facing high mortality rates in Afghanistan.”

(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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