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Declassified footage shows U.S. drone strike that killed Afghan civilians

Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. military has released declassified drone footage that shows a drone strike in Afghanistan last summer that was ordered to wipe out terrorist militants, but killed nearly a dozen civilians, including several children.

The drone strike was carried out last Aug. 29 as a response to a terrorist attack near the airport in Kabul during the U.S. evacuation. The terrorist attack killed 13 Marines and dozens of civilians.

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Twenty-five minutes of footage from two MQ-9 Reaper drones were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The New York Times. It's the first footage of the drone attack to be released, and shows the final minutes before the strike and the immediate aftermath.

An MQ-9 Reaper drone is seen at Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan. Two Reaper drones were involved in the strike last August that killed 10 civilians, most of them children. File Photo by U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys

The footage of the strike shows military personnel tracking a white Toyota Corolla through the city, which was believed to have been driven by a terrorist operative, before calling in the strike.

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In reality, inside the vehicle was an Afghan civilian, Zamarai Ahmadi, who worked for the non-government organization Nutrition and Education International.

The Pentagon initially defended the strike but later acknowledged that it was a mistake. An Air Force review of the situation found no violation of law.

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