The death toll from Sunday’s missile strike near the Kabul airport has risen to 10 dead and five wounded, mostly children, according to the latest toll available Monday from sources close to the tragedy.
“We now know that ten residents are dead and five wounded in yesterday’s projectile attack. Most of the fatalities and wounded are children,” Hazrat Shah, a leader in the Khawaja Bughra area of Kabul, where the event took place, told Efe.
Shah said the number of children is so high because “the family had some guests at home when the rocket hit” the house.
Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi put the number of dead in the attack at seven for now, although he clarified that they have not yet completed the “investigation” of what happened.
Several Taliban sources consulted by Efe assured that these civilian casualties were caused by the impact of one of the projectiles targeting the airport, and have no relation with the attack of an American drone against a vehicle in which a suicide bomber was allegedly present.
Those two attacks on Sunday occurred near the Kabul airport, at a time of heightened tension after the U.S. government warned of “credible threats” against the airfield, where U.S. troops are concentrated and where on Thursday there was an attack that killed at least 170 people.
The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) initially reported that a drone had hit a vehicle in which alleged members of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), which claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, were traveling to the airport.
In a subsequent statement and referring to the possible civilian victims, allegedly derived from the attack and that the Taliban denied today that they were related, CENTCOM assured that “it is not clear what could have happened and the investigation continues”.
These attacks on Sunday were compounded on Monday by the fall of new projectiles on Kabul, claimed by ISIS, which targeted the airport.
The rockets were fired from the back of a vehicle and mostly hit “unoccupied areas” or were intercepted by the airport’s anti-missile system, so they caused no casualties, several Taliban sources told Efe.