The US has carried out a drone strike against a vehicle of suicide bombers linked to the Afghan ISIL affiliate that intended to target the Kabul airport, US Central Command (CENTCOM) has said.
“Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material,” CENTCOM spokesperson Bill Urban said.
Two senior officials said the US believes it was a successful strike and that the intended target was hit. This is the second airstrike the US has conducted against the group, which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing Thursday at the Kabul airport gate that killed 13 US service members and scores of Afghans struggling to get out of the country and escape the new Taliban rule.
At least 175 people, including 13 US soldiers, were killed on Thursday in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K).
In what appeared to be a separate incident on Sunday, a rocket struck a neighbourhood just northwest of the airport, killing a child.
Video obtained by The Associated Press in the aftermath of the attack showed smoke rising from a building at the site around a kilometer (half a mile) from the airport.
No group immediately claimed the attack; however, militants have fired rockets in the past.
The attack comes as the United States began to wind down a airlift that saw tens of thousands evacuated from Kabul’s international airport, the scene of much of the chaos that engulfed the Afghan capital since the Taliban took over two weeks ago.