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Lone ISIS Bomber Carried Out Assault at Kabul Airport, Pentagon Says

However maybe the largest error after the Abbey Gate bombing would come simply three days later. On Aug. 29, American officers, fearful that one other suicide bomber would assault Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, launched a drone strike, hitting a white Toyota loaded with what turned out to be water canisters, not explosives. The officers who known as within the strike had not observed video footage that confirmed the presence of a kid some two minutes earlier than the strike.

Ultimately, 10 civilians, together with seven youngsters, had been killed.

Normal McKenzie acknowledged on Friday that the Abbey Gate investigation reversed commanders’ preliminary assessments, noting “the battlefield is a complicated and contradictory place, and it will get extra complicated the nearer you might be to the precise act.”

He mentioned, for instance, that “ball bearings induced wounds that appeared like gunshots,” referring to the projectiles unleashed within the blast. Of their monthslong inquiry, investigators relied on eyewitness testimony, health workers’ findings, and video footage from an MQ-9 drone flying overheard minutes after the blast.

The investigation additionally discovered that navy leaders took acceptable measures to guard their forces all through the operation at Abbey Gate, and that the medical providers that had been accessible and prepared saved each life they probably may have.

And the investigators mentioned the choice to maintain the Abbey Gate open late that afternoon — till the explosion at 5:36 p.m. — regardless of rising threats of an ISIS assault, was comprehensible on condition that many Afghans with legitimate journey paperwork had been nonetheless making an attempt to evacuate and overseas allies had been speeding to get their residents out. Officers needed to forestall throngs of Afghans overrunning the airfield, investigators mentioned, as occurred on Aug. 16 after the Afghan authorities fell to the Taliban.

“This was not preventable,” Brig. Gen. Lance Clark of the Military, a senior investigators, mentioned of the bombing.

The investigation didn’t deal with the bomber himself, apart from to notice that it was “extremely possible” that he circumvented Taliban checkpoints and used an alternate path to the airfield, bringing him inside ft of the Abbey Gate checkpoint. Investigators discovered no proof that the Taliban had been complicit or negligent within the assault.

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