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Father of Afghan Child Slain in Botched Drone Strike Demands Justice

The father of one of the seven children killed in a drone strike outside of Kabul, Afghanistan on August 29th is demanding that the person who pulled the trigger based on faulty intelligence should be punished.

Photo by HOSHANG HASHIMI/AFP/Getty Images

Emal Ahmadi’s three-year-old daughter Malika was one of 10 civilians that were blown up by a Hellfire missile while sitting in a car outside of Ahmadi’s home. His brother and the intended target, Zemerai, had been mistakenly identified as having an affiliation with ISIS-K, which carried out a double suicide bombing at Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26th that killed at least 170 Afghans and 13 United States service members. It was later revealed that Ahmadi was a contractor working with an American humanitarian organization with no ties to ISIS.

Marine General Kenneth “Frank” McKenzie, the head of Central Command, admitted the error and apologized on Friday and said that financial compensation is being considered. But that has done little to ease the pain and loss felt by Ahmadi and his surviving family members.

“That is not enough for us to say sorry. The U.S.A. should find the person who did this,” Ahmadi said in an interview with the Associated Press on Saturday, “and I want him punished by the U.S.A.,” he added.

“Now I am the one who is responsible for all my family and I am jobless,” he continued, emphasizing that life under Taliban rule is “not good.”

Ahmadi also expressed profound confusion about how the US could have made such a grievous mistake.

“The U.S.A. can see from everywhere. They can see that there were innocent children near the car and in the car. Whoever did this should be punished,” he said. “It isn’t right.”

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