Authors: KATHY GANNON, LOLITA C. BALDOR, TAMEEM AKHGAR and JON GAMBRELL
Kabul, Afghanistan (AP)-U.S. officials said on Sunday that U.S. drones attacked a vehicle carrying “multiple suicide bombers” from affiliates of the Islamic State of Afghanistan before they were able to target Kabul International Airport. The ongoing military evacuation operation.
There are few preliminary details about the incident, and a rocket hit a community in the northwestern part of the airport, killing a child. The Taliban initially described the two attacks as separate incidents, but there is still little information about the two attacks. Witnesses only heard one big explosion in the Afghan capital on Sunday.
When the airstrike took place, the United States ended a historic airlift and tens of thousands of people were evacuated from Kabul International Airport. This is a scene of most of the chaos that has swept the Afghan capital since the Taliban took over the capital two weeks ago. After a suicide attack by an affiliate of the Islamic State killed more than 180 people, the Taliban strengthened security around the airport as the United Kingdom ended its evacuation flight on Saturday.
American military cargo planes continued to enter the airport on Sunday, long before the Tuesday deadline set by President Joe Biden, to withdraw all troops from the longest war in the United States. However, the Afghans who remain in the country fear that the Taliban will resume their earlier oppressive rule — the situation has been exacerbated by the recent shooting of a folk singer in the country by insurgents.
Two U.S. military officials who spoke on condition of anonymity and discussed military operations said the airstrike was successful and said the vehicle was carrying multiple bombers.
US Military Central Command spokesperson US Navy Captain Bill Urban (Bill Urban) called the drone strike a “self-defense” operation. He said that the authorities continue to “assess the possibility of civilian casualties, but we currently have no signs.”
“We are confident that we will succeed in achieving our goals,” Urban said. “The serious secondary explosion of the vehicle indicates the presence of a large number of explosives.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a letter to reporters earlier that the target of the US attack was a suicide bomber who was driving a vehicle containing explosives. Mujahid provided few other details.
This is the second strike in the United States since the suicide bombing at the airport. On Saturday, a strike in Nangarhar Province killed an Islamic State member who is believed to be involved in planning an attack on the United States in Kabul.
The Sunni extremists of the Islamic State have ties to well-known branches of the organization in Syria and Iraq. They have launched a series of brutal attacks, mainly against the Shiite Muslim minority in Afghanistan, including the 2020 attack on a maternity hospital in Kabul . Killing women and babies.
The Taliban fought against Islamic State militants in Afghanistan, and nearly 20 years after being expelled during a US-led invasion, the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan. The Americans followed the 9/11 attacks, which was orchestrated by Al Qaeda under the protection of the organization.
Kabul Police Chief Rashid said the rocket attack hit the Khuwja Bughra community in Kabul. A video obtained by the Associated Press after the attack showed heavy smoke from a building about one kilometer (half a mile) from the airport.
No organization immediately claimed to have launched the attack, but militants have launched rockets in the past.
At the same time, the family of a folk singer in northern Kabul said that the Taliban had killed him under unknown circumstances in recent days.
The shooting of Fawad Andarabi occurred in the Andarabi Valley named after him, which is located in Baghlan Province, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Kabul. Since the Taliban took over the valley, turmoil has occurred in the valley, and some areas of the region are under the control of militia fighters who oppose Taliban rule. The Taliban stated that they have since recaptured these areas, although Panjshir in the neighbouring Hindu Kush Mountains remains one of the only provinces out of its 34 provinces in Afghanistan.
His son Javad Andarabi told the Associated Press that the Taliban had previously searched Andarabi’s home and even had tea with the musician. But something changed on Friday.
“He is innocent, a singer who can only entertain the masses,” his son said. “They shot him in the head on the farm.”
His son said he wanted justice, and the local Taliban committee promised to punish the murderer who killed his father.
Taliban spokesman Mujahid told the Associated Press that the insurgents will investigate the incident, but there are no other details about the killing.
Andarabi played ghichak, a bow-style lute, and sang traditional songs about his birthplace, his people and the whole of Afghanistan. An online video showed him sitting on the carpet during a performance, and he was surrounded by the mountains of his home while singing.
“There is no country in the world like my motherland, a proud country,” he sang. “Our beautiful valley, the hometown of our great-grandparents.”
The UN Special Rapporteur on Cultural Rights, Karima Bennoune, wrote on Twitter that she was “deeply concerned” about the death of Andarabi.
“We call on governments to demand that the Taliban respect #artists’ #humanrights,” she wrote.
Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard also condemned the killing.
She wrote on Twitter: “There is increasing evidence that the Taliban in 2021 is the same as the intolerant, violent, and authoritarian Taliban in 2001.” “Twenty years later. Nothing has changed in this regard.”
Also on Sunday, private banks across Afghanistan resumed operations. However, they limit withdrawals to no more than $200 per day.
Although some people complained that they were still unable to withdraw money, government employees stated that they had not received wages in the past four months. The exchange rate of the Afghani is about 90.5 to 1 U.S. dollar and continues to depreciate because the country’s billions of U.S. dollars in foreign exchange reserves are still frozen overseas.
Akhgar reported from Istanbul, Baldor from Washington, and Gambrell from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.