KABUL: The brother of Zemari Ahmadi, one of ten people killed in an American drone strike in Afghanistan last month, said this week the family would file a lawsuit and wanted the United States to pay compensation.
Ahmadi, 43, a longtime worker for a US aid group, had just arrived home on August 29 when his vehicle was hit by a drone, blowing out doors and windows in the courtyard, spraying shrapnel, and killing 10 people, seven of them children.
An investigation published in the New York Times last week and based on in-depth video analysis and interviews at the site cast doubt on the US account that a Reaper drone followed Ahmadi’s car for hours and fired based on evidence it contained a bomb and posed an imminent threat to US and allied troops at Kabul airport.
Ahmadi’s brother Aimal Ahmadi, who lost his three-year-old daughter in the attack, said the family was seeking justice.
“We are destroyed,” he told Arab News in an interview on Monday. “Those who carried out this attack and killed our loved ones must now be punished. America must pay compensation to my family.”
“We will file a lawsuit,” he added.
Aimal said his deceased brother had been a “law-abiding citizen” who, along with their nephew Nasir Haideri, had applied for the US Special Immigrant Visa, which was being processed at the time of the strike.
Haideri, who also died in the attack, was to be married in the first week of September and start a new life in America, his uncle said.
He rejected reports of the presence of explosives in Ahmadi’s car.
“They were water containers which he had brought home from the office as we are facing a shortage of water,” Aimal said. “He filled them at his office and would bring them home. All the evidence is contrary to the false claims of the Americans.”
“Washington must provide proof that Ahmadi was carrying a car full of explosives,” he said.
Ahmadi’s son Samim, who survived the attack, said the family had not yet been contacted by US officials: “We are waiting for a call and we want justice.”