At least 103 people were killed and over 143 were injured in four explosions that rocked Kabul on Thursday. Multiple explosions were reported from outside the crowded Kabul airport on Thursday evening. Thirteen US soldiers, including 12 Marines and a Navy medic, were among those killed and 18 other service members were injured in the Kabul airport blasts.
The Islamic State (IS) has claimed responsibility for the attack outside the Kabul airport. The outfit also released a picture of a suicide bomber that struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport, effectively shutting down the Western airlift of Afghans desperate to flee.
While the Kabul airport saw two explosions within minutes from each other, two more blasts were reported hours later. As per initial reports, the third was a Taliban vehicle hitting an improvised explosive device in central Kabul.
As soon as the first explosion was reported outside the Kabul airport, the Pentagon issued a statement: “We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update,” said the Pentagon.
US and allied officials said they had intelligence that suicide bombers were threatening to attack the airport, Pentagon said.
Hours after the twin blasts were reported outside Kabul airport, the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State — ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K) — claimed responsibility for the attack.
A suicide bomber from the Islamist militant group “managed to reach a large gathering of translators and collaborators with the American army at ‘Baran Camp’ near Kabul Airport and detonated his explosive belt among them, killing about 72 people and wounding more than 143 others, including Taliban fighters,” the outfit said.
The IS statement also said the bomber got around US security measures and that the camp that was targeted was where US forces were gathering paperwork for those who have worked with the military. The statement made no mention of a second suicide bomber or gunmen.
The extremist IS group has battled the Taliban, which it views as traitorous for agreeing to a peace deal with the United States.
Strongly “condeming” the Kabul airport twin blasts that killed at least 60 and injured dozens, the Taliban said US was warned of a possible terror attack by the Islamic State (IS) group.
The Taliban termed the explosions outside Kabul airport a “terrorist act”.
The Kabul airport explosions struck at a time when many countries have been carrying out evacuations before the August 31 deadline.
Several Western countries said the airlift of civilians was now effectively over, with the US having sealed the gates of the airport leaving no way out for tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the West through two decades of war.
“The doors at the airport are now closed and it is no longer possible to get people in,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said on Thursday.
“We wish we could have stayed longer and rescued everyone,” the acting chief of Canada’s defence staff, General Wayne Eyre, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
US President Joe Biden ordered all troops out of Afghanistan by the end of the month to comply with a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban negotiated by his predecessor, Donald Trump. He spurned calls this week from European allies for more time.
Source – India Today