Afghanistan: Children among those killed in US air strike targeting suicide bombers in Kabul

The ongoing threat in Afghanistan has been highlighted again as the US carried out a drone strike on a car said to have been carrying suicide bombers, US Correspondent Emma Murphy reports

Three children were killed in a US drone strike that blew up a vehicle carrying "multiple suicide bombers" near Kabul airport, officials have said.

An Afghan official, who spoke anonymously, said the US targeted two cars parked in a residential building in the city's Khuwja Bughra neighborhood, killing and wounding several civilians.

Earlier, it was not clear whether the US air strike and an air strike that killed a child were the same event. The two blasts turned out to be the same incident.

Dina Mohammadi said several of her family members who lived in the building were killed, including children.

Video of the aftermath of a rocket attack in Kabul's Khuwja Bughra neighbourhood shows smoke rising from a building just over half a mile from Kabul airport

Karim, a district representative, the fire from the strike made it difficult to rescue people.

“There was smoke everywhere and I took some children and women out,” he said.

Neighbour Ahmaduddin said he collected the bodies of children after the strike, which set off more explosions inside the house.

The US has not yet commented on the the reports of civilian casualties.

Afghan journalists take photos of a destroyed vehicle outside a house after US drone strike in Kabul. Credit: AP/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

Earlier, two anonymous US military officials, called the airstrike successful and said the vehicle it targeted carried "multiple suicide bombers" of ISIS-K, the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate.

US Navy Captain Bill Urban, a military spokesman, said the military was investigating whether there were civilian casualties but that “we have no indications at this time.”

He said the strike was taken in "self defence".

“We are confident we successfully hit the target,” Mr Urban said. “Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”

A broken window of a house is seen after US drone strike in Kabul Credit: AP/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Sunday a US airstrike targeted a suspected suicide bomber.

The target was thought to be driving a vehicle loaded with explosives and was planning to strike Kabul airport where US evacuations from Afghanistan are continuing, the spokesman said.

On Saturday, the US used a drone strike to kill two ISIS-K members in the Nangarhar province. The members were said to be planners and facilitators of the Kabul airport suicide bomb attacks that killed more than 180 people and injured dozens more.

A destroyed vehicle is seen outside a house after a US drone strike in Kabul Credit: AP/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

US President Joe Biden has warned another attack on Kabul airport is “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours”, while the State Department called the threat “specific” and “credible”.

Mr Biden also vowed on Saturday to continue airstrikes against the ISIS-K group.

In the wake of Thursday's deadly attack, the Taliban increased its security around the airport which saw the last British evacuation flights leave on Saturday.

Ahead of the August 31 deadline, the United States is winding down a historic airlift that saw tens of thousands evacuated from Hamid Karzai International Airport.