facebook linkedin twitter

Suicide Bombings Blast Kabul, Killing American Service Members and Civilians

August 26, 2021 by Daniel Mollenkamp
In this frame grab from video, people attend to a wounded man near the site of a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. Two suicide bombers and gunmen have targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. (AP Photo)

KABUL, Afghanistan — A pair of suicide bombings near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, which happened on Thursday morning, killed civilians and American personnel, U.S. officials say.

American officials suspect an affiliate group of the Islamic State operating in Afghanistan, ISIS- K, of responsibility for the bombings. They describe the group as an enemy of the Taliban as well as the U.S.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed in a statement released on Twitter that one blast occurred at Abbey Gate, a primary entrance to Kabul’s airport, and another occurred close by, near the Baron Hotel.

The airport, just a few miles from Kabul’s city center, is the site of efforts to evacuate American citizens and imperiled Afghans from the country before the looming Aug. 31 American troop withdrawal deadline.

At least 22 people were killed and dozens wounded.

U.S. Air Force loadmasters and pilots assigned to the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron, load people being evacuated from Afghanistan onto a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021. (Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen/U.S. Air Force via AP)

In a written statement issued on Thursday afternoon, Kirby said that “a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport,” adding that others were being treated for wounds and that “a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack.”

The dead include 11 Marines and one Navy medic, according to two U.S. officials. They said another 12 service members were wounded and warned the toll could grow.

Emergency, an Italian charity that operates hospitals in Afghanistan, said it had received at least 60 patients wounded in the airport attack, in addition to 10 who were dead when they arrived.

It’s unclear exactly how this will impact the evacuation efforts.

“Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible,” Secretary-General of NATO Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter.

“I strongly condemn this act of terrorism and it must be clear to the world that the terrorists who perpetrated this will be sought and brought to justice,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D.-NY, said in a statement.

Earlier in the week, President Biden had reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to leaving Afghanistan in front of leaders from the G7, the United Nations, NATO, and the European Union.

In a briefing about the meeting, Biden said that he’d received warnings about a possible attack from ISIS-K which he described as “the sworn enemy of the Taliban.”

The New York Times has reported that the U.S. Marines guarding Abbey Gate had been warned of an imminent terror threat but had continued to process people trying to get out.

Prior to the explosions, the White House had reported that 13,400 people were evacuated from Afghanistan between Wednesday morning and Thursday morning, with about 8,300 people having been airlifted by coalition aircraft from Kabul. 

An update from U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Wednesday said that around 82,300 people have been safely evacuated from Kabul since August 14th, including 4,500 U.S. passport holders. Of that 82,300, about 45-46% have been women and children, Blinken said.

The secretary also commented that these figures are fast-changing, “fluid.”

Tracking the precise number of Americans still in the region is difficult, especially since registration with American embassies is voluntary and the counts are complex, Blinken said. 

During Wednesday’s briefing, Blinken had said that the department had “direct contact” with 500 American citizens and had given instructions on how to get to the airport, and it was trying to reach an additional 1,000 people who may be Americans trying to leave.

However, those numbers do not include American green card holders or applicants for the Afghan Special Immigrant Visa program.

The Taliban has “strongly condemned” the bombings, according to reporting.

International

China Declares All Cryptocurrency Transactions Illegal

BEIJING (AP) — China's central bank on Friday declared all transactions involving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies illegal, stepping up... Read More

BEIJING (AP) — China's central bank on Friday declared all transactions involving Bitcoin and other virtual currencies illegal, stepping up a campaign to block use of unofficial digital money. Chinese banks were banned from handling cryptocurrencies in 2013, but the government issued a reminder this year.... Read More

Tensions Grow As US, Allies Deepen Indo-Pacific Involvement

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines,... Read More

BANGKOK (AP) — With increasingly strong talk in support of Taiwan, a new deal to supply Australia with nuclear submarines, and the launch of a European strategy for greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, the U.S. and its allies are becoming more assertive in their approach toward... Read More

US Special Envoy to Haiti Resigns Over Migrant Expulsions

The Biden administration's special envoy to Haiti has resigned, protesting "inhumane" large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants to their homeland wracked... Read More

The Biden administration's special envoy to Haiti has resigned, protesting "inhumane" large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants to their homeland wracked by civil strife and natural disaster, U.S. officials said Thursday. Daniel Foote was appointed to the position only in July, following the assassination of Haiti's president.... Read More

September 22, 2021
by Reece Nations
Biden Discusses AUKUS Partnership with Macron Amid 'Diplomatic Crisis'

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic... Read More

WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday to discuss the United States' new strategic partnership with the U.K. and Australia. Australia is set to construct eight nuclear-powered submarines through its alliance with the U.S. and the U.K., dashing the country's... Read More

Biden to Double US Global Donation of COVID-19 Vaccine Shots

President Joe Biden is set to announce that the United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to... Read More

President Joe Biden is set to announce that the United States is doubling its purchase of Pfizer's COVID-19 shots to share with the world to 1 billion doses as he embraces the goal of vaccinating 70% of the global population within the next year. The stepped-up... Read More

Trudeau's Party Wins Canada Vote But Fails to Get Majority

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party secured victory in parliamentary elections but failed to get the majority... Read More

TORONTO (AP) — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal Party secured victory in parliamentary elections but failed to get the majority he wanted in a vote that focused on the coronavirus pandemic but that many Canadians saw as unnecessary. Trudeau entered Monday's election leading a stable minority... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top