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The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff on Wednesday defended Sunday’s U.S. drone strike in Kabul that appears to have caused civilian casualties.

The strike, targeting an “imminent” threat posed by the Islamic State’s offshoot in Afghanistan, was “righteous,” Gen. Mark A. Milley said, and through a “variety of means,” military officials know that at least one Islamic State member, whom they have declined to name, was killed.

“At the time — and I think this is still valid — we had very good intelligence that ISIS-K was preparing a specific type of vehicle at a specific type of location,” he said. “We monitored that through various means and all of the engagement criteria were being met. We went through the same level of rigor that we’ve done for years, and we took a strike.”

Ten civilians in a northwestern Kabul neighborhood — eight of them children 18 and under — were killed in the attack, family members told The Washington Post on Monday.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing outside Kabul airport last week, which killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 civilians trying to flee the country.

Here’s what to know

  • Heavy fighting erupted in pockets of northern Afghanistan on Tuesday night in what may be some of the final clashes between Taliban and resistance fighters as the Islamist group tries to consolidate its hold on the country.
  • U.N. Secretary General António Guterres warned that Afghanistan faces an impending “humanitarian catastrophe” after the departure of U.S. forces, and he urged countries to help the people of Afghanistan as they face “their darkest hour of need.”
  • The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan “was not responsible and not orderly,” Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Wednesday, and it amounted to the “abandonment of the Afghan people."