KABUL —By the time the American apology arrived, the lives of the Ahmadi family were already upended. And being falsely accused by the U.S. military of ties to the Islamic State was not the worst part of the ordeal.
There was their shattered family house. There were the nightmares, the bouts of crying and the screams triggered by the memory of a U.S. drone strike on Aug. 29 that killed 10 of their relatives, including seven children.
There were the fresh fears of persecution by the Taliban after the media spotlight on the family noted that some members, including survivors, worked for U.S.-based entities or the former Afghan security forces.
The Hellfire missile — the weapon used in the Pentagon’s capstone attack at the end of a two-decade war — also killed the family’s only breadwinner, Zamarai Ahmadi.
“We didn’t have money to bury our relatives,” said his 32-year-old brother Emal on Saturday, steps away from the mangled carcass of a white Toyota sedan. “We had to borrow the funds.”