The United States has admitted that a raid carried out by a drone pilot in Kabul before its withdrawal from Afghanistan killed 10 innocent people.
A US Central Command investigation concluded that the August 29 strike killed an aid worker and nine family members, including seven children.
The raid took place days after an attack on Kabul airport, amid evacuations that accelerated with the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
The raid coincided with the near end of the United States’ military operations in Afghanistan, which lasted 20 years.
US intelligence followed the aid worker’s car for eight hours and believed he was linked to Islamic State militants, according to US Central Command chief Gen. Kenneth McKenzie.
The investigation found that the man’s car was seen in a compound linked to the organization, and that its movements were accompanied by other intelligence about plans to carry out an attack on Kabul airport.
A reconnaissance plane spotted men carrying the car with materials suspected to be explosives, before it turned out to be water bottles.
General McKenzie described the raid as a “tragic mistake” and noted that the Taliban had nothing to do with the intelligence that preceded the raid.
When the United States began withdrawing its forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban took control of the country within about two weeks.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled to the UAE when the Taliban captured the capital, Kabul, on August 15.
In light of the developments, large-scale evacuations were carried out by the United States and its allies, while thousands attempted to leave Afghanistan.
The security situation worsened after a suicide bomber carried out an attack that killed 170 civilians and 13 US forces outside Kabul airport on August 26.
A branch of the Islamic State said it was responsible for carrying out the attack.
The last US soldier left Afghanistan on August 31, with the deadline set by US President Joe Biden to withdraw troops.
More than 124,000 foreigners and Afghans were evacuated, coinciding with the end of the US troop withdrawal process.