KABUL: An American airstrike on insurgents in Kabul Wednesday caused “several casualties” after a missile “malfunctioned”, NATO said, overshadowing a high-profile visit by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg.
The US strike was launched in support of Afghan security forces who had confronted militants after they fired a volley of rockets near the capital’s international airport hours after Mattis arrived in the country for talks.
One person was killed and 11 others were wounded in the assault, according to the interior ministry. The Taliban and the Islamic State’s local Khorasan province affiliate claimed responsibility.
“Tragically, one of the missiles malfunctioned, causing several casualties,” NATO’s Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
NATO said it “deeply regrets the harm to non-combatants” and an investigation was under way into the attack and the defective ammunition.
The casualties caused by a US airstrike in the capital have cast a pall over Mattis’s trip to the country and could fuel anger towards American forces whose reputation is already tarnished.
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