According to a Defense Department official, the U.S. military drone struck a vehicle carrying explosives in Kabul on Sunday. This was as the enormous effort to rescue U.S. citizens from the Taliban and Afghan allies neared its end.

Afghans claimed that the drone strike had killed nine civilians, some of them children. The U.S. military responded by saying it was conducting an investigation.

The strike occurred in the final chapter of America’s 20-year war against Afghanistan. President Biden had only two days to complete the withdrawal.

The strike thwarted an imminent threat to Hamid Karzai International Airport from the Islamic State Khorasan, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command said.

In a statement released Sunday evening, defense officials acknowledged that civilians could have been killed in the aftermath of the strike.

Capt. Urban said that he was aware of reports of civilian casualties after the strike on a vehicle in Kabul. CentCom spokeswoman Bill Urban said. We are still evaluating the impact of the strike, which we knew disrupted an imminent ISIS K threat to the airport. We know there were powerful explosions that followed the destruction of the vehicle. This indicates that the vehicle contained a lot of explosive material that could have led to additional casualties. We are still investigating the cause of the explosion and do not know what it may have been.

He said, “We would be deeply disturbed by any potential loss to innocent life.”

People in Kabul, including the chief Taliban spokesperson, posted on social media that a house and vehicle were both hit in a neighbourhood just west of the airport. They also claimed that many civilians were killed.

Samim Shahyad (25-year-old journalism student) said that the strike claimed the lives of his father, two brothers, four young cousins, his niece, and his sister’s fiancée. He said that three of the victims were young girls aged 2 or less, while his aunt and uncle lost their three children.

He said, “The American plane targeted us.” “I don’t know what to say. They just cut my arms and broken my back. I can’t say more.”

A nearby doctor said that four bodies had been taken to the hospital, two of which were children.

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A senior U.S. military officer stated that while the military is confident that no civilians were in the vehicle, he acknowledged that it may have caused collateral damage.

The scene was captured on video. It showed a mess of metal that could barely be identified as the remains of a vehicle. A few feet away was the charred and pockmarked wreckage of an S.U.V. According to Mr. Shahyad, his father was pulling into their garage at the time of the explosion.

The U.S. Embassy, Kabul, stated earlier Sunday that there was a “specific and credible threat” to the area of the airport. On Thursday, a suicide bombing killed up to 170 civilians as well as 13 military personnel. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State Khorasan. On Saturday, Mr. Biden warned that another attack would be “highly probable” within the next hour.