Bombing at Kabul Airport Interrupts Evacuations
Pentagon officials have confirmed explosions from twin suicide bombings occurred at the Hamid Karzai International Airport and by a hotel near the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
According to news reports, casualties include Afghans and U.S. personnel. The Russian Foreign Ministry issued the first casualty report, saying that at least 13 people were killed and another 15 were wounded in the attack, with Taliban officials reporting that women, children, and Taliban guards were killed in the explosions. Speaking to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity, U.S. officials said American personnel were also wounded in the explosions, but they did not say how many or the severity of the injuries.
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.— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
“Thousands of Afghans have been gathered at the airport for days trying to flee the country since the Taliban takeover earlier this month,” the Associated Press reported. “Western nations had warned of a possible attack.”
Sewage canal where Afghans were vetted after their documents was packed with Afghans including women and children. A suicide attacker blew himself up in the middle of a large crowd. At least another attacker started shooting, multiple eye witnesses in the area&a friend tells me. pic.twitter.com/1MHuLOZnDl— BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) August 26, 2021
Officials from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia issued warnings late Wednesday against traveling to the airport and evacuating the airport gates. The latest warning came from the French ambassador, who asked people to quickly move away from airport gates due to the risk of another explosion.
À tous nos amis afghans : si vous êtes près des portes de l’aéroport, éloignez-vous de toute urgence et mettez-vous à l’abri. Une deuxième explosion est possible.— David Martinon (@david_martinon) August 26, 2021
“The White House has stressed for several days that the possibility of an attack from ISIS-K was one factor pushing them to attempt to complete the evacuation operation by 31 August,” Axios reported.
While some NATO allies have already ended their evacuation efforts because of the threat from ISIS-K, others plan on continuing their operations for the next couple of days, adhering to the deadline set by the Taliban.