Nuhanovic Foundation

Reparations Database

Misidentified target causes deaths of innocent Kabul residents in U.S. drone strike of 29 August 2021





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A drone strike on a truck, conducted by theUnited States (U.S.), killed aid worker Zemari Ahmadi and nine members of his family in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 29 August 2021. The Hellfire missile was launched in an effort to kill ISIS-K planners with whom Ahmadi had no ties whatsoever.

Reportedly U.S. surveillance drones watched Ahmadi’s car for hours on 29 August as it made various stops around Kabul and observed several men pack it with large bundles, which the analysts believed were explosives to be used against U.S. forces and civilians at Kabul airport. Thus initially, the Pentagon asserted that it had been conducted correctly since the vehicle was struck “in the earnest belief” that it posed an imminent threat. Deeper post-strike investigations, however, concluded that Ahmadi mistakenly been identified as a terrorist. U.S. authorities then stated that the strike was “a tragic mistake” leading to the death of 10 innocent civilians including seven children.

Voluntary Restorative Measures

The U.S. apologized and offered its condolences to surviving family members of those who were killed. The Secretary of Defense further directed a thorough review of the decision to attack the truck in order to find out whether (i) the investigation took into account all available context and information, (ii) accountability measures need to be taken and (iii) procedures and processes underlying drone attack decisions need to be tightened.

According to the NewYork Times, the US government has also offered unspecified condolence payments to the relatives of the people mistakenly killed in the drone strike. Simultaneously, the Pentagon said it is working to help surviving members of the family relocate to the US.

For more information about the case visit:

·       American Civil Liberties Union

Dutch media:

·       Volkskrant

·       NOS

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