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US Missile Causes ‘Several Casualties’ During Mattis’ Afghan Visit
A "tragic malfunction" during a US air strike resulted in a number of civilian casualties, as US War Secretary James Mattis visited Kabul.
"During a failed attack today, insurgents fired several rounds of high-explosive ammunition, including mortars, into the vicinity of Hamid Karzai International Airport and detonated suicide vests endangering a great number of civilians," said a statement from NATO's Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
"The Afghan Crisis Response Unit 222 responded quickly to confront the attackers and end the assault. US forces acting in support conducted an airstrike. Tragically, one of the missiles malfunctioned, causing several casualties."
Officials said an investigation into the "malfunction" is underway and promised to release more details about the attack.
Earlier, the Afghan interior ministry said the three attackers along with one person had been killed and 11 others wounded during the early morning assault on the airport. It is unclear if any of these casualties were inflicted by the US malfunction.
US military officials told American reporters that up to 40 projectiles hit the Hamid Karzai airport, including 29 rocket-propelled grenades.
The Taliban said it specifically targeted Mattis and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, neither of whom had announced their visits in advance, though both men had already left the area when the rockets began to hit.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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