Top general acknowledges US ‘did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out’

A funeral is held for the victims who were killed in a US defensive airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday.
A funeral is held for the victims who were killed in a US defensive airstrike in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sunday. CNN

The remains of a two-year-old girl were identified by family members in Kabul today as the 10th person to have died in Sunday’s US drone strike, Omid Haqparast, a family member told CNN.

The remains of the girl, named Malika, were recovered on Monday. 

According to the family, Malika had been missing after the airstrike. They went to several hospitals but were unable to find her. When they came back to the airstrike site, near where they live, they began searching again, and somehow found her remains at the scene – a day after the airstrike.

The US carried out a defensive airstrike in Kabul Sunday, targeting a suspected ISIS-K suicide bomber who posed an “imminent” threat to the airport, US Central Command said.

Haqparast told CNN it is unclear whether Malika was inside the vehicle or in the compound that was targeted by the drone on Sunday.

Relatives of the 10 victims spent Monday at a Kabul hospital identifying remains and separating them into coffins.

Two of the coffins were marked with the names Malika and Sumaya. Both girls were two-years-old and the youngest victims of Sunday’s airstrike, according to the family.

The funerals took place on Monday for the 10 family members killed on the hill of Khawja Rawash. Family members shouted “Death to America” as they gathered around the coffins.

Some more background: The US strike came after two bombing attacks on Thursday outside Kabul’s airport that killed 13 US service members and at least 60 Afghans, according to the Pentagon and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Public Health.

The deadly blasts occurred as the United States and other Western countries raced to complete a massive evacuation of their citizens and Afghan allies following the Taliban takeover of the country.

The US military said in their statement on Sunday that there were “Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”

Maj. Gen. Bill Taylor, Joint Staff deputy director for regional operations, told a press briefing Monday: “We are aware of reports of civilians casualties. We take these reports extremely seriously”

On Monday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the US works hard to avoid civilian casualties.

“We’re investigating this. I’m not going to get ahead of it. But if we have significant – verifiable information that we did take innocent life here, then we will be transparent about that, too. Nobody wants to see that happen,” he said. 

“But you know what else we didn’t want to see happen. We didn’t want to see happen what we believe to be a very real, a very specific and a very imminent threat to the Hamid Karzai International Airport and to our troops operating at the airport as well as civilians around it and in it and that is another thing that we were very concerned about.”