After days of warnings about a possible Islamic State terror attack in the Afghan capital, officials say at least 60 people have been killed in suicide bombings outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA), reports Reuters.
The Pentagon had confirmed at least 18 US Marines were killed when two suicide bombers attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to HKIA after the Taliban once again seized power in the nation.
All Australian defense personnel have left Afghanistan and were not impacted by the blast.
Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K or ISKP), an affiliate group of the Islamic State group that operates in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the A few hours earlier, British intelligence agencies reported that terrorists were planning to set up an explosion at the Kabul airport, but the exact time of the attack was unknown. Despite the issued warning, hundreds of refugees were still at the entrance to the airport, which is why the number of victims is so high.
The Taliban was guarding the Kabul airport and left their positions a few minutes before the explosion occurred. The motive for the terrorist act on the part of the Taliban may be an attempt to block access to the airport and intimidate the local population fleeing the country.
It is reported that a firefight began immediately after the thundering explosion inside the airport and outside the airport. According to the Guardian newspaper, the Taliban were firing in foreign aircraft evacuating citizens from Afghanistan.
“We will not forgive, we will not forget,” US President Joe Biden said during a televised live conference.
“We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
But he added that “I know of no conflict, as a student of history, no conflict when a war was ending one side was able to guarantee that everyone who wanted to be extracted from that country was able to get out.”
Wall Street Journal National Security reporter Vivian Salama reports that the White House Press secretary has clarified those statements, saying it will be challenging to evacuate all Afghans who want to leave.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has ordered the flags at the US Capitol in Washington to be flown at half-staff “in honour of the US service members and others” killed in the attack.
According to Reuters, other countries are tracking with their evacuation missions:
- Denmark’s last flight, carrying 90 people plus soldiers and diplomats, left yesterday
- Poland and Belgium had already ended their evacuations from Afghanistan before the attack
- The first Turkish troops evacuated from Afghanistan arrived back in Turkey on Thursday
- India said it evacuated most of its nationals from Afghanistan and is doing everything to bring them back home
- Hungary says its army has evacuated all Hungarian citizens from Afghanistan of which the defense ministry is aware
- The German Defense Minister says her country ended its evacuation mission in Afghanistan
- The Foreign Minister of the Netherlands said the last Dutch diplomats and troops have flown out of Kabul
- The Russian ambassador in Afghanistan said all Russians who wanted to leave Afghanistan were taken home on Thursday
- And Canada ended its evacuations from Kabul airport, a Canadian general said on Thursday
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