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The US military confirms that a drone strike in Kabul killed ten civilians

Adam Layaan Kurik Riza



On Friday, the US military revealed that a drone strike in late August in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed up to ten civilians, including seven children.

“Having fully evaluated the investigation’s findings and the supporting analysis by interagency partners, I am now confident that as many as ten civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” Kenneth McKenzie, commander of US Central Command, told reporters during a Pentagon press briefing.

“We currently believe that the vehicle and those killed were not linked with ISIS-K or posed a direct threat to US forces,” he continued.

The general acknowledged that the lethal strike was “a sad blunder.” “As the combatant commander, I am entirely to blame for this strike and its awful outcome.”

On August 29, the United States Central Command announced that it had launched a drone strike on a vehicle in Kabul, claiming that it had eliminated an “imminent” threat posed by ISIS-K, an Afghanistan-based offshoot of the Islamic State, to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where evacuations of US service members and personnel were underway.

The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, labeled it a “righteous strike” following proper protocols.

According to media sources, the US military may have hit the wrong target during the strike, resulting in civilian casualties.

The vehicle driver was identified as Zemarai Ahmadi, a 43-year-old electrical engineer working for Nutrition and Education International, a U.S. humanitarian organization based in Pasadena, California, by separate investigations by The New York Times and The Washington Post.

“We now know that Mr. Ahmadi had no link to ISIS-Khorasan,” Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said in a statement on Friday. “His actions that day were

absolutely innocuous and had nothing to do with the imminent threat we thought we faced, and Mr. Ahmadi was just as innocent a victim as the others sadly died.”

“We sincerely apologize, and we will make every effort to learn from this heinous error,” he continued.

The Pentagon chief also stated that he had requested a further examination of the recently concluded probe by US Central Command to evaluate whether “accountability mechanisms” and strike authorization and procedures needed to be changed in the future.

The Central Command declared on August 30 that it had completed the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, bringing an end to the country’s 20-year military presence, following botched evacuations that attracted harsh condemnation from both home and abroad.

The United States declared a “War on Terror” and invaded Afghanistan in 2001, shortly after al-Qaida terrorists hijacked passenger planes and carried out suicide assaults on US soil, killing almost 3,000 people.

Washington has expanded its military operations into several additional nations over the years, depending primarily on drone attacks for targeted executions. According to the group Airwars, US drone operations and airstrikes have killed at least 22,000 civilians over the last two decades.


Source: Xinhua News Agency

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MPS still under Home Minister: PO




President’s Office on Tuesday stated that though Maldives Police Service (MPS) is now operating as an independent entity, the Home Minister is still the responsible figure for the agency.

Following the ratification and implementing of MPS Act, MPS would function as an independent entity, with various internal governing bodies. The Home Minister will be responsible for overseeing the body but will have no control over day to day operations.

Confusion reigned supreme following a letter sent by President’s Office to the Home Affairs, stating that MPS would function as an independent entity effective from March 27, 2021. The letter also stated the Ministry’s functions and roles following this decision.

Clause 242 of the Constitution mandates that all government and government associated agencies be overseen by a Minister.

The statement issued by President’s Office said that Home Minister Sheikh Imran would still oversee the agency.

In response to the change, Minister Imran tweeted that ‘challenges’ were natural and expected. He added that success was in perseverance.

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Tourism Ministry sets three-year period for resorts to open




Minister of Tourism Dr Abdullah Mausoom has revealed that the Ministry intends to automatically revoke the islands leased for resort development, if the developers fail to open the property within a three-year period.

Speaking to local newspaper, Mihaaru, the Minister revealed that this was already in the plans and a new agreement will be signed based on this principle.

Statistics by Tourism Ministry in 2020, show that over 50 resorts were still under development, with parties filing to extend the permits for 21 islands. Some of the leased islands have been listed as under development for over 10 years.

This, he said, was being implemented to urge developers to finish developing the property and begin operations. Minister Mausoom noted that most citizens living close to islands under development had raised their concerns over delays.

The Minister had previously said that Tourism sustained severe losses due to the pandemic. While the sector aims to bring in 1.3 million tourists, there are several challenges including a new mutation of the delta strain detected in the UK and limitations of the airport to cater for arrivals.

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U23 national team departs for Bahrain




The under 23 national football team has departed to Bahrain for training ahead of AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

The qualifiers will be held in Uzbekistan from the 27th to the 31st of this month.

The team is accompanied by Assistant Coaches Sabah Mohamed and Mohamed Shahid. They will play two practice matches in Bahrain before heading to straight to qualifiers in Uzbekistan. The team had also carried out successful training camps in the atolls.

Maldives will face off against Iraq on 27th October, against Bahrain on 29th October, and Afghanistan on 31st October.

Competing nations are divided into 11 groups. First place winners will go into the Asian Cup. Additionally, four top-performing teams from the second placed nations will proceed to the Cup.

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