US vows to pay relatives of Afghans killed in drone strike

Ten people killed in errant US drone attack in Kabul in August

Samia Ahmadi, whose father and fiancŽe were both killed in an errant drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph: Jim Huylebroek/New York Times

Samia Ahmadi, whose father and fiancŽe were both killed in an errant drone attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Photograph: Jim Huylebroek/New York Times

 

The US defence department has said it is committed to offering condolence payments to relatives of the 10 people killed in an errant US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan, in August.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement the department was also working with the US state department to help surviving family members relocate to the United States.

Mr Kirby said the matter arose in a meeting on Thursday between Dr Colin Kahl, under secretary of defence for policy, and Dr Steven Kwon, founder and president of the non-profit group Nutrition & Education International.

“Dr Kahl reiterated Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin’s commitment to the families, including offering ex gratia condolence payments,” Mr Kirby said. He did not say how much money would be offered.

On August 29th, a US Hellfire missile struck a car driven by Zemerai Ahmadi, who had just pulled into the driveway of the Ahmadi family compound. In all, 10 members of the family, including seven children, were killed in the strike.

Weeks later, Marine general Frank McKenzie, head of US central command, called the strike a “tragic mistake” and said innocent civilians were indeed killed in the attack. – AP