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UPDATE: US Marines, Others Killed In ISIS Suicide Bomb Attacks At Kabul Airport

Hospital<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>staff<a href=httpshowafricacom> <a>bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatment after two blasts outside the airport in KabulWakil Koshar AFP Getty Images

 

Two explosions rocked the area outside Kabul airport Thursday, leaving a number of casualties and throwing evacuation efforts into more turmoil days before President Joe Biden’s deadline for the United States to leave the country.

At least 13 people including children were killed and many others were injured, Taliban sources told NBC News, in what they described as a suicide attack. Russia’s Foreign Ministry gave the same death toll.

An initial blast outside the airport’s Abbey Gate was the “result of a complex attack” that left a number of U.S. and civilian casualties, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Twitter.

Four killed, three U.S. Marines were injured in that blast, according to three U.S. military officials.

Kirby added that there was “at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.”

While it was not immediately clear who was behind the explosion, two U.S. intelligence officials said the assumption is that the Islamic State group’s Afghan affiliate, ISIS-K, carried out an IED attack.

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The explosions came hours after the United States and its allies had warned of a potential terror attack as thousands crowded the airport in a desperate effort to flee in the wake of the Taliban’s takeover.

Western countries had urged people to avoid traveling to the area, in the latest setback for the massive airlift out of Kabul, the Afghan capital.

Some countries said they would have to suspend evacuations because of the security situation.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg condemned what he called a “horrific terrorist attack.”

“My thoughts are with all those affected and their loved ones. Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible,” he said on Twitter after the explosions.

Smoke rises from an explosion outside the airport in Kabul

Kabul airport has been a flashpoint for violent and chaotic scenes since the Taliban took control of Kabul on Aug.15.

Over the weekend, U.S. defense officials warned about specific threats against those trying to leave Afghanistan.

Biden has also warned about the risk of attack from ISIS-K, known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) after an old name for the region.

“Every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both U.S. and Allied forces and innocent civilians,” he said Tuesday.

The president has stuck to his deadline for the U.S. mission to end in spite of criticism at home and abroad.

The Taliban have warned any delay would be crossing a “red line” that will have consequences, but they have so far kept up their promise not to attack any Western forces as they evacuate.

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Written by How Africa News

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