The US military said Friday it had carried out a drone strike against a “planner” of the Islamic State-Khorasan group that claimed credit for the deadly suicide bombing at Kabul airport.
“The unmanned airstrike took place in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province. The first indications are that we killed the target,” said Captain Bill Urban of Central Command.
“We know of no civilian casualties,” he added in a statement announcing the first reported US attack since the attack.
The strike, which was launched from outside Afghanistan, came as the airlift of evacuees from Kabul airport continued under greatly heightened security after Thursday’s attack.
At least 78 people were killed, including 13 US troops, when a suicide bomber exploded a bomb in the dense crowd outside the airport’s Abbey Gate. Some media reported that nearly 200 people were killed.
US officials said gunmen opened fire after the explosion, adding to the massacre.
The attack was carried out by the violent Afghan arm of the Islamic State group.
After the attack, US President Joe Biden vowed retaliation.
“Those who carried out this attack and anyone who wishes to harm America knows this: we will not forgive. We will not forget. We will track you down and make you pay,” Biden said on Thursday.
On Friday afternoon, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said they believe the group planned to attack the airlift again.
“We still believe there are credible threats… specific, credible threats,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)