28 September 2017
…U.S. Counter Airstrike Kills Scores of Civilians
By Sunday Elom
Suicide bombers and militants firing mortars attacked Kabul’s airport during a visit by the U.S. Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, on Wednesday, prompting a U.S. air strike that accidentally killed civilians.
Officials said the clashes and casualties overshadowed a visit intended to demonstrate U.S. support for the Afghan government and provided a sharp reminder of the risks associated with a more aggressive U.S. policy that is expected to increase the number of air strikes.
Official report said militants fired high explosive ammunition including mortar rounds near the main airport and detonated several suicide vests in an attack claimed by both the Taliban and Islamic State, hours after Mattis touched down in Kabul. Gunmen holed up in a nearby house battled security forces for much of the day.
It was reported that U.S. forces conducted an air strike supporting an Afghan special police unit fighting the attackers but suffered a “missile malfunction,” causing several casualties.
“Resolute Support deeply regrets the harm to non-combatants. We take every precaution to avoid civilian casualties, even as the enemies of Afghanistan continue to operate in locations that deliberately put civilians at very high risk,” the statement said.