‘No US troops to be punished for Afghan drone deaths’

The US has said no American troops or officials will be held accountable for a drone strike that killed 10 people in Afghanistan in August.

The attack took place during the final days of the US-led evacuation of Kabul after the Taliban seized control.

An aid worker and nine members of his family, including seven children, died in the strike.

American intelligence had believed the aid worker’s car was linked to IS-K, a local branch of Islamic State.

But in the aftermath, US Central Commander, General Kenneth McKenzie, described the strike on August 29 as a “tragic mistake”.

A high-level internal review published last month concluded that there was no need for disciplinary action, since no law had been broken, and there was no evidence of misconduct or negligence.

Several US media outlets reported that the review was approved on Monday by Defence Secretary, Lloyd Austin.

The strike happened days after a suicide bomber killed up to 170 civilians and 13 US troops outside Kabul airport.

US forces had targeted a car belonging to aid worker, Zamairi Ahmadi, and the strike was launched as he pulled into the driveway of his home, 3km (1.8 miles) from the airport.

The vehicle had been seen at a compound associated with IS-K, and its movements aligned with other intelligence about the terror group’s plans for another attack.

The explosion set off a secondary blast which US officials initially said was proof that the car was indeed carrying explosives. However, an investigation found it was most likely caused by a propane tank in the driveway. -BBC

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