The US military said on Friday, that it had carried out a drone strike against a “planner” of the Islamic State-Khorasan, the group which claimed credit for the deadly suicide bombing at Kabul airport. The strike, launched from outside of Afghanistan, came as the airlift of evacuees from Kabul airport continued under much-heightened security after Thursday’s attack.
Bill Urban, captain of the central command in a statement announcing the strike 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.’At least 78 people were killed, including 13 US troops, when a suicide attacker exploded a bomb in the dense crowd in front of the airport’s Abbey Gate. Some media reported that fatalities numbered close to 200. US officials said gunmen opened fire after the explosion, adding to the carnage. The attack was carried out by the violent Afghan arm of the Islamic State group. Joe Biden, US president had vowed retaliation. In his words “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,” Biden said Thursday. It was believed that the group planned to strike the airlift again. “We still believe there are credible threats… specific, credible threats,” Kirkby the spokesman said.
According to commander Bill, a Reaper drone, launched from the Middle East, struck the militant while he was in a car with another IS member, killing them both, an official told Reuters news agency. Most of IS-K’s several thousand extremists are believed to be in hiding in the province, east of Kabul.