China Daily (Hong Kong)
US drone strike victims’ family demands justice
KABUL — Family members of Afghan technical engineer Zamarai Ahmadi, who was killed in a drone attack by United States military forces along with nine other family members, are demanding justice and compensation after US military officials admitted that the attack on Ahmadi was a mistake.
“The US’ confession of the deadly attack on civilians in my house virtually demonstrates its arrogance in targeting innocent civilians. Killing civilians is a blatant crime and the perpetrators must be brought to justice,” said Emal Ahmadi, brother of Zamarai Ahmadi.
Zamarai, along with nine members of his family which included seven children aged 2 to 15, was killed in the drone attack on Aug 29, just one day before the completion of the US-led forces’ evacuation from Afghanistan.
The Pentagon claimed that US troops had targeted a suicide bomber affiliated with the Islamic State group, that posed an imminent threat to US-led troops at the Kabul airport. Defending the operation, top US general Mark Milley insisted that the attack was “righteous”.
Nevertheless, US military officials on Friday confessed to have “made a mistake” and offered an apology.
“Our investigation now concludes that the strike was a tragic mistake,” said Frank McKenzie, head of the US Central Command, adding that the Pentagon was considering reparations.
However, Emal said more needs to be done than just offering an apology. Emal’s 3-year-old daughter was also killed in the strike. “Offering an apology is not enough. The US government should pay compensation besides bringing the perpetrators to justice.”
Sitting in front of a wrecked car, a saddened Emal whispered that his brother Zamarai was a kind person and had no relations with the IS or any other terror group.
“By targeting a civilian house and killing civilians, including innocent children, the US military committed a big mistake. Killing civilians is a war crime and those who committed the crime should be booked and brought to justice and should be punished,” Emal said.
“I want compensation for the victims and demand punishment for the perpetrators of the crime that the US officials have termed as a big mistake. And if ignored, I would pursue the case at the international level, and approach all concerned judiciary organizations to ensure justice.”
In support of Emal’s demands, Abdul Aziz, a local defense lawyer, said killing civilians is a war crime, and that those behind the crime must be brought to justice.