KABUL (Dispatches) – A rocket has struck a neighborhood northwest of Kabul’s international airport amid the U.S. evacuation there, killing a child, an Afghan police chief says.
Rashid, the Kabul police chief who goes by one name, told The Associated Press that the rocket struck on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, two U.S. officials told Reuters the United States carried out a military strike on Sunday in Kabul.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the strike allegedly targeted suspected Daesh-K militants.
Witnesses reported an explosion near Kabul airport and television footage showed black smoke rising into the sky. There was no immediate word on casualties.
Two witnesses said the blast appeared to have been caused by a rocket that struck a house in an area to the northern side of the airport, but there was no immediate confirmation.
No group immediately claimed the attack.
“It comes at a time of increasing tension here, the closer we get to this evacuation deadline,” he said.
The suspected rocket fire comes as the United States winds down a historic airlift that saw tens of thousands evacuated from Kabul’s international airport, the scene of much of the chaos that engulfed the Afghan capital since the Taliban took over two weeks ago.
After a suicide attack on Thursday claimed by the Daesh-K, a Daesh affiliate, that killed at least 175 people, the Taliban increased its security around the airfield as the United Kingdom ended its evacuation flights on Saturday.
The Pentagon claimed on Saturday that retaliation drone strikes had killed two “high-level” militant targets in eastern Afghanistan, but Biden warned of more attacks from the group.
According to eyewitnesses, some of the dozens of civilians who were killed in this week’s bombing at the Kabul airport may have actually been shot dead by U.S. troops amid the chaos caused by the blast.
Russia Today, citing eyewitnesses who talked to BBC, reported on Saturday that not everyone who died on Thursday at the Kabul airport was killed at the hands of the suicide bombers.
The brother of one of the victims, who was killed along with his wife around the airport, said the couple was killed by gunfire in the resulting “confusion” that occurred after the bombing.
Another source claimed that a civilian who had worked with U.S. troops was shot to death by the troops. He said the victim was found with a bullet hole in his head with no other injuries.