US drone strike on Islamic State after deadly Kabul attack

The US military on Friday said it had conducted a drone strike against a “planner” of the Islamic State-Khorasan, striking back in less then 48 hours at the group which claimed credit for the deadly suicide bombing at Kabul airport.

In a statement annoucing the first reported US strike since the attack,
Captain Bill Urban of the Central Command said, “The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties.”

The drone strike initiated from outside of Afghanistan, came as the airlift of evacuees from Kabul airport continued under much-heightened security after Thursday’s black.

Nearly 78 people, including 13 US military forces were killed, when a suicide bomber exploded a bomb in between the dense crowd in front of the aiport’s Abbey Gate. Several media reported that fatalities numbered close to 200.

Adding to the attack, the gunmen opened fire after the explosion, adding to the carnage, US officials said.

The bomb blast was conducted by the violent Afghan arm of the Islamic State group.

Following the attack the US President Joe Biden vowed retaliation on Thursday, “To those who carried out this attack as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Friday noon said they believe the group planned to strike the airlift again. “We still believe there are credible threats… specific, credible threats.”

(Inputs from agencies)

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