welcome to bbc news, i'm rich preston. our top stories: the us retaliates against islamic state in afghanistan with a drone strike less than two days after the deadly suicide attack at kabul airport. the us embassy renews its call to citizens to avoid travelling to kabul airport, and tells those already there to leave immediately. hurricane ida approaches louisiana — residents in unprotected areas are warned to evacuate. and football superstar cristiano ronaldo is returning to manchester united 12 years after he left.
hello and welcome to bbc news. the us has led an air strike against a member of the terrorist group isis—k that was behind thursday's attack at kabul airport. in a statement, the us central command said that "the unmanned airstrike occurred in the nangahar province of afghanistan. initial indications are that we killed the target. we know of no civilian casualties." our washington correspondent nomia iqbal has more. president biden avowed revenge — in that very emotional and defiant press conference on thursday he said that isis—k, the isis version in afghanistan, would be hunted down and made to pay for that deadly suicide blast that happened outside the airport, killing us service members and dozens of afghans who were trying to be airlifted out of the country.
and this strike happened this evening, it was signed off by mr biden as you mentioned there. it was an unmanned drone that hit the eastern part of afghanistan, just bordering with pakistan, taking out one isis—k member. we don't actually know if there's member of isis—k had anything to do with what happened outside the airport. it's interesting, in a statement, the phrase that is quite important here is "over the horizon counterterrorism" and the reason i mention that is because this is the phrase of the biden administration when it comes to counterterrorism. basically it means without troops on the ground. and the appeal is pretty obvious, as far as america's concerned, you launch a strike, you do it from above and from afar, you don't risk any troops. and for biden, this is really important, this is his way of showing that america can still have some sort of military might and that this is a way of ending the so—called endless wars. broadly speaking, it's quite popular amongst the american public but there's some criticism of it that its implementation�*s quite hurried, quite haphazard, but this is really complicated and
quite extraordinary because mr biden is trying to get americans out of afghanistan, but he's trying to get revenge on this new terrorist group, and all of this in a country that's incredibly unstable, and breathing down america's neck is this very unfriendly group that's essentially running the country — the taliban, who want them out by next tuesday. 0k, nomia iqbal in washington. earlier i spoke to asfandyar mir, from the center for international security and cooperation at stanford university. i asked him what impact this strike could have against the terror group. the administration is claiming, that it has targeted a planner, but we really don't know that this person is and to what level this person was involved. i note that the us government over the last few years has cleared hundreds of isis—k fighters, mid—level operatives, sometimes even senior leaders. so this is not the first major strike against this
particular group. so the administration has to, i think, provide a lot more information to convince us that the person they have taken out is someone of consequence. what might be the potential impact of this strike, and i'm conscious there are still us troops in the country. is there a risk that it might provoke the group further? there is. my concern, my fear is that in the short term it increases the risk of a terrorist attack against the airport, against us personnel, against afghan civilians who might be at the airport. look, this group is very hard to deter. it has been targeted a lot — notjust by the us but by the afghan government, as well as the forces of the taliban. but this group has proven that it can adapt, it is resilient. it is resolved in its fight. so i think the chance that this group or the leaders of this group try to hit the us once again at the airport are considerable.
how strong is isis—k in afghanistan? look, as i noted, isis—k has been bearing the brunt of us and afghan military pressure over the last few years, but over the last 12 months the group has morphed. it has come up with a new strategy, it has positioned itself as a taliban rejectionist movement. it has sought to rally these disillusioned constituencies, constituencies that don't like the taliban, and moreover, they've engaged in successful jailbreaks. they were able to free their prisoners from one jail in eastern afghanistan last august and then only ten days back, once the taliban took control of the country, took parts of kabul, there was another jailbreak in which thousands of isis prisoners fled. at this point my sense is, if we go by the estimate provided by the un,
there might be anywhere between 4,000—5,000 isis—k fighters in the country. president biden said yesterday he would hunt down those responsible and make them pay the price. do we imagine there might be more strikes similar to this in the coming hours and days? i think if we hold him to the spirit of what he said, he has to target the senior leadership of the group. i think anyone who might have been involved in the planning, and doesn't meet the criteria, the standard president biden has set out for himself. meanwhile senior taliban officials say they have taken up positions inside kabul airport and are ready to take control. it's a claim disputed by the pentagon, which says that us forces are still in charge of the site. they insist they'll keep evacuating afghans
until "the last moment", but there are now signs that both us and british efforts will end imminently, amid a worsening security situation. our correspondent in kabul, secunder kermani, has the latest — a warning that his report contains distressing images. distraught relatives search kabul�*s morgues, looking for their loved ones. this baby you managed to save? but there's another baby? amongst those killed, mohammed niazi, a taxi driver from london who had travelled to kabul to try and help his family get inside the airport. his eldest daughter and youngest child are still missing. his wife was also killed. his brother was at the airport alongside him. i saw some small children in the river. it was so bad. it was a dark day for us.
many of those we meet say their relatives were not killed in the blast but by firing in the confusion afterwards, they believe by foreign soldiers. somehow, i saw an american soldier... and beside this there were turkish soldiers, so the fire comes from the bridges, the towers. from the soldiers? yes, from the soldiers. america's department of defense didn't reply to our request for comment. the suicide bombing claimed by the islamic state group would have ripped through the densely packed crowd, causing panic. is has repeatedly launched devastating attacks in the city. the blast has left two—year—old mohammed reza fighting for his life. this looks set to be one of the deadliest incidents ever in this horrific conflict. so many of the victims those who had worked with the international community. noor muhammad had been employed
alongside american forces. the guy has served us army for years. and the reason he lost his life... he wasn't killed by taliban, he wasn't killed by isis. us army started shelling. how can you be sure? because of the bullet. the bullet inside of his head, right here, near to his ear. he didn't have, he doesn't have any injury. these are noor mohammed's eight children. he had hoped to give them a better life. instead, this afternoon, they said a final goodbye. those killed in this awful attack were trying to escape years of violence in afghanistan. instead, they became the latest victims in a country torn apart by bloodshed. tens of thousands of people have been flown out of the country but now only foreign nationals are being allowed inside the airport.
the british government has acknowledged some of those who want to leave will be left behind, like this former interpreter. there is no place for us to stay and we are so worried about our future. i think it's not fair. it is like a betrayal of their own heroes. these are the last days of a chaotic evacuation effort. for those who haven't made it out, a deeply uncertain future. secunder kermani, bbc news, kabul. the death toll from thursday's attacks has climbed to 170, and the united states has warned of another credible threat to kabul airport. as we've heard, the taliban says it has taken up positions on the site and will take control of the security situation as soon as american forces leave. more on that now from our chief international correspondent, lyse doucet, in kabul. it seems in the same way the taliban fighters stole a march suddenly on kabul last week, they're doing the same tonight at the airport.
for the past few hours, we've been watching on social media as senior officials among the taliban and their supporters are posting photographs with exclamations like: "the foreign occupation has ended." "the islamic emirate is entering the airport." pictures of luxury vehicles, their lights blaring, going into the airport ground. of course, we checked with the pentagon. they say, "we still control the gates, we still control the operation." the mod in london says the military flights are continuing, but it underlines again it is just a matter of time. but such is the desperation of those who got so close and now feel they may lose out, i'm even receiving messages tonight. a friend said, "my sister got an e—mail tonight saying she can go to the airport. how can you get her there?" and people there showing passports, their afghan passports, saying, "how can we get there?" this door is closing and closing loudly, but other windows are going to open. but will they be open enough? chief international
correspondent lisa doucet. for weeks now we've seen images of people crowding around the airport in kabul, desperately trying to leave. but stories of hope are emerging too. courtney bembridge has this story of one family's tearful reunion in paris. a hug from mum like no other. this was the moment shakiba dawod was reunited with herfamily, who fled kabul. translation: as soon - as i saw my mother running to me, all this fearfell away. i took her in my arms and ifelt her warmth. i rediscovered the smell of my mother and it's something i had forgotten. my mother's tears reminded me of the tears she shed when i left afghanistan. it was really moving, a lot of emotions today. shakiba has lived in france for 12 years. in 2019 her brother, who served in the afghan army, was killed by the taliban.
so when the group seized control of the capital, the family worried they would soon become targets. for days and nights, they tried to get through the throngs of people crowding around the airport, desperate to leave. ten days is very difficult, sometimes we spend all night beside the gate, and they are very rude and they mostly hit the people with guns, bullets firing and all the things happened, so i don't know how it is here, it is like a dream, like, something like that. the family eventually made it onto a french plane on tuesday with the help of shakiba back in france. translation: i am very happy. i think they will be able to rebuild their lives, to have a future. whereas in afghanistan, everything has fallen away. their hopes and their dreams crumbled. and i hope that i will be able to help them, to be able
to dream and rebuild their lives. the family's journey has onlyjust begun — they are still being held in a covid—i9 quarantine facility and will likely face a long wait to have their asylum claims processed. but it's a journey they'll now take together. you are watching bbc news. our main headline: the us carries out a drone strike against an islamic state planner in afghanistan less than two days after a deadly suicide attack at kabul airport. one growing concern is around the humanitarian crisis in afghanistan. the head of the international rescue committee warns that an invisible crisis is brewing in afghanistan. david miliband says 20 million people there are reliant on humanitarian help. he says he fears the military withdrawal would be followed by an international diplomatic, political and humanitarian withdrawal from the country. the bbc�*s south asia correspondent rajini vaidyanathan has more.
in this hospital, now guarded by the taliban, lies 18—month—old abdul. malnourished, his mother can't afford to feed him. we were sent these pictures by a doctor in the north—east region of badakhshan, one of the country's poorest. there, and across afghanistan, we've been told food and gas prices have risen since the taliban took charge. millions were already on the brink of starvation. now the un says it urgently needs more money to avert a crisis. afghanistan stands on the brink of another humanitarian disaster. without that money coming in, we will not be able to supply food to those 20 million people who are already poor. so there could be a famine? absolutely. that's what we will see if we can't get our food
bundles to them. but because of the drought, because of the conflict, people can't feed themselves. for years, conflict has ravaged this nation. earlier this month, explosions rocked the market in nasca ga in helmand province. the scene of some of the heaviest fighting that british tracker four in which british tracker four in which british troops lost their lives. just weeks ago, the emergency hospital in the area was full of the war wounded. today, where battles were once fought, and uneasy calm. some who fled the city have now returned but are homeless. there are a variety of bulletins on this board... victor is a doctor who stayed behind to help those in need.
people need humanitarian help, they need food, medication, the problem is for those whose homes were ruined in the bombings, they don't have the funding to repair their homes. all of them just leave their homes and just want to go. this week in the northern city of mazar—i—sharif, dozens have been boarding buses to get to kabul. the un has said that the conflict has forced more than 500,000 afghans to flee their homes this year alone. there's a lot of problems. this man is just one of them. his mother lives in india. she fled to delhi a decade ago after her husband was killed by the taliban. now she is terrified for her son. "he's really scared. "the taliban are beating people up in front of him every day," she says.
"they say they're not the same as before, but they are." the taliban hasn't changed. the doctor i talked to in badakhshan agrees that words from the taliban in kabul don't reflect the reality beyond. we changed his voice. as i am talking to you right now, girls above class six are not allowed to go to school where i am. many women aren't allowed to work. even before the taliban took control, afghans were suffering. now, across the country, there are real fears for the future. the world may have left, but afghanistan needs help. rajini vaidyanathan, bbc news. hurricane ida has brought heavy rain and winds to western cuba as it heads into the gulf of mexico. the us national hurricane center says ida is likely to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it makes landfall in louisiana. gail maclellan reports.
winds at 80 mph and torrential rain, the western coast of cuba the first place hurricane ida makes landfall. flash floods and mudslides also expected in jamaica and the cayman islands. but this is not ida at her worst, she is expected to become extremely dangerous when she hits the southern united states this weekend. it’s she hits the southern united states this weekend. it's going to travel over _ states this weekend. it's going to travel over some _ to travel over some extraordinarily warm water, over an area we call inaudible. it basically is a superhighway incredibly warm water all the way to the shores of louisiana and along the way, that's just going to feed energy into the storm and they are expecting rapid intensification of the storm and right now, it is 80 miles an hourand storm and right now, it is 80 miles an hour and they expected to come onto the shores of louisiana with winds of 140 miles an hour, —— making a category four hurricane. ida will arrive _ category four hurricane. ida will arrive 16 _
category four hurricane. ida will arrive 16 years of the days after hurricane katrina hit, when 80% of new orleans was flooded and most 2000 people lost their lives. hurricane ida is not expected to cause such devastation, though. the winds will be stronger and the wall of water is not expected to be as high of that that submerged the city into thousand five. the authorities in new orleans are not taking any chances. at authorities in new orleans are not taking any chances. at this time, i not taking any chances. at this time. i will _ not taking any chances. at this time, i will be _ not taking any chances. at this time, i will be and _ not taking any chances. at this time, i will be and i _ not taking any chances. at this time, i will be and i am - time, i will be and i am calling for mandatory evacuation of all areas outside of our levy protection system. all areas outside of our levy protection system. definitely mandatory evacuation. some in areas protected _ mandatory evacuation. some in areas protected by _ mandatory evacuation. some in areas protected by levees - mandatory evacuation. some in areas protected by levees are i areas protected by levees are staying put. but in the path of the storm, they are preparing for the worst. gail maclellan, bbc news. staying in the united states. a parole board in california has recommended that the man who assassinated robert f
kennedy, the brother of presidentjohn f kennedy, should be released from prison. sirhan sirhan has served more than 50 years injail for the killing in 1968. the recommendation does not mean sirhan will be freed automatically — it would have to be approved by the governor of california. president biden has accused china of blocking an investigation by the us into the cause of the coronavirus. a 3—month investigation by american intelligence agencies failed to agree on whether the virus stemmed from exposure to an infected animal or an incident in a laboratory in the chinese city of wuhan. meanwhile, china has consistently rejected claims that the virus originated from an incident at a government facility, and has even suggested that it might have escaped from a lab in the us. one of the world's most successful footballers cristiano ronaldo has agreed new terms to return to his old club, manchester united.
he first played for united back in 2003 when he was just 18 and now he's leaving juventus in italy. jon donnison has the full story. 12 years after he wore a united shirt, guess who's back? most of the faces at old trafford may have changed, but speaking just before the signing was announced, the new boss clearly excited. cristiano has been a legend of this club. he is a legend of this club. he is the greatest player of all time, if you ask me. i was fortunate enough to play with him. i coached him. the deal was confirmed in a short but sweet tweet, "welcome home, cristiano". viva ronaldo! horns blare. cue celebration outside the club's ground. it is superb! i cannot describe the feeling that we have. 0ur man is back! yes! all the talk this week, though, had been that ronaldo was heading to the other side of manchester and this afternoon, city fans were putting on a brave face.
thank goodness for that! what a waste of money he'd have been! way past his best. ronaldo was a fresh—faced 18—year—old when he first signed for united in 2003. now twice that age, at least one half of manchester will be hoping one of the greatest players of all time still has more to give. jon donnison, bbc news. an extraordinary alpine rescue has been taking place in the mountains of switzerland. emergency teams had to leap into action and carry out the operation, taking to the air in helicopters. but this rescue isn't quite what you'd expect, as the bbc�*s tim allman explains. ride of the valkyries plays. look, in the sky! is it a bird? is it a plane? no, it's a flying cow. ride of the valkyries
continues. a bovine aviator being serenely ferried down from the alpine meadows where it had spent much of the summer. ride of the valkyries continues. quite a sight but, we are told, not as unusual as it may look. translation: one reasonj for the helicopter transport is that you can't reach some pastures by car. and the other is that some cows are injured, so they don't have to walk all the way down. ride of the valkyries plays. around ten of the animals from a herd of 1000 had to be hooked up to a helicopter. but if you think this might have been a little traumatic
for them, think again. i didn't ask the cow how it feels after such a flight, as it couldn't answer, but it was only a short, calm flight. i didn't notice any difference between the ones that flew and the ones that walked. the rest of the herd will be escorted down the old—fashioned way over the weekend, before an annual parade takes place. no flying allowed. tim allman, bbc news. certainly one way to move a cow, isn't it? the gun used to kill the wild west outlaw billy the kid 140 years ago has been sold at auction for $6 million. the colt single action gun belonged to sheriff pat garrett. he killed billy the kid in new mexico in 1881. the auction house called it a "relic of one of the most important and well known stories of the wild west". more on the latest stories on the bbc news website. you can reach me on twitter.
i'm @richpreston. until next time, thanks for watching. goodbye. hello. the weather on the last weekend of august last year didn't cover itself in glory — a high ofjust 16 throughout the weekend in edinburgh, in birmingham and manchester. it is going to be warmer this weekend — at least to start with. it's going to be dry throughout the weekend with this area of high pressure that's going to last into next week as well, although as the weekend goes on, there will be more cloud and breeze, so it will start to feel a bit cooler once again. and actually quite chilly as the weekend begins in rural spots, with temperatures into single figures. but in the sunshine, we're all going to warm up really quite nicely as the day goes on. there will be some areas of cloud in north—west scotland, some patches of cloud in eastern scotland and in england, though a lot of this will start to break up to allow some sunshine to come
through, increasingly so in the afternoon. 0n the breeze, it's quite stiff in east anglia and south—east england. a stray shower can't be ruled out and the breeze pushing into north sea coasts will keep temperatures right along the coast close to16, 17 degrees. but for many, its low 20s, and up to 23 in glasgow, so very pleasantly warm in some of that sunshine. and it will stay dry through saturday night, but notice how the cloud is increasing into scotland, north—east england and into northern ireland. here, temperatures will be hotting up compared with the night before. so as we start sunday, there will be more cloud across scotland, northern ireland, north—east england, pushing in across more of eastern england during the day. the lion's share of sunday's sunny spells will be in wales, parts of the midlands and southern england, and this is where the temperatures will be highest. whereas elsewhere, it will feel a bit cooler and the breeze is starting to pick up more widely as well, coming in from the north—east as this area of high pressure just backs a little bit more towards the north—west of us,
allowing more of us to feel that east or north—easterly breeze going through monday and into the week ahead. it may be a bank holiday where you are, there will be a lot of cloud around on monday, so only limited sunny spells so you'll notice by then the temperatures have come down a few degrees. just towards the south—west of the uk, where we'll see most of the sunshine, breaking into the 20s. so it will feel cooler next week. there will be a lot of cloud around, just occasional sunny spells coming through, and it's still dry with that high pressure in control as we get into september.
this is bbc news. the headlines: the us military has carried out a drone strike, killing a member of the islamic state group in afghanistan, following thursday's deadly attack by the militants at kabul airport. a spokesman said the first indications are that no civilians were killed during the operation. a us intelligence report has concluded that covid—19 was not developed as a biological weapon by china. but officials were unable to provide a more definitive explanation for its origin, and blamed beijing for hindering the global investigation. china has rejected the accusation. hurricane the accusation. ida is approaching the hurricane ida is approaching the state of louisiana. surging seas and flooding could spill over levies, and a mandatory evacuation order is now in place in new orleans which was devastated 16 years ago by katrina.