Kabul airport blast: ISIS-K claims responsibility, releases picture of suicide bomber
An Islamic terror group affiliate has officially claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings at Kabul airport on Thursday, August 26, that killed at least 60 people including 13 US troops. At least 140 people are reported to have been injured in the blasts which took place outside the perimeter of Hamid Karzai International Airport at an entrance known as Abbey Gate.
The group called ISIS-K released a picture of one of the suicide bombers, who is identified as Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri. Reportedly, ISIS said that "the attacker was under 5 m away from US forces when he detonated his vest". The terror group might also release a video message supporting their claim later. Reportedly, the statement by ISIS claiming responsibility for the Kabul bombing was released on the main official ISIS news outlet, Amaq Media. ISIS-K or the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) - is the regional affiliate of ISIS (or so-called Islamic State) that is active in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is reportedly the most extreme and violent of all the jihadist militant groups in Afghanistan. It was set up in January 2015 at the height of IS' power in Iraq and Syria, before its self-declared caliphate was defeated and dismantled by a US-led coalition.
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In their statement, ISIS accused the Taliban of being "in a partnership" with the US military to evacuate "spies" and noted that the bomber "managed to penetrate all the security measures imposed by the American forces and the Taliban militia in the capital Kabul, " reports say. Following the attacks, in a press briefing on Thursday, August 26, the commander of US Central Command, General Frank McKenzie Jr said that a "number of ISIS gunmen" opened fire on US troops, following the bombing. Pentagon reported that at least 12 US service members were killed in the bombings, including 11 Marines and one Navy medic, and 15 were injured.
President Biden in his statement said that "US forces would target the terrorists who killed 12 service members in an attack on the evacuation operation at the Kabul airport". "America will not be intimidated. We will hunt you down and make you pay, " he said. While the Taliban condemned the blasts outside the airport and said the US controlled the area where the attacks occurred, Biden replied saying, "It is in the interest of the Taliban that ISIS-K does not metastasize."
Biden also said that Americans who lost their lives in the suicide bombings were "heroes who had been engaged in a dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others". He further noted that the attack did not halt the evacuation effort, and another 7,000 people were flown out in subsequently.