Kabul airport explosions: Suicide bomber attacks kill at least 11
The first explosion took place in the canal running alongside the main road approaching the airport
At least 11 people, including foreigners and children, have been killed in blasts near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, August 26, according to Taliban security sources. Some Taliban guards were also wounded in the blasts which are being seen as suicide bombers' attacks.
Pentagon has also confirmed the two blasts. Earlier, The Washington Post’s Dion Nissenbaum reported that a security alert email was sent out from the US embassy in Kabul that confirmed that gunfire was heard near the airport gates, and should be avoided by all US citizens. People near the Abbey Gate, East Gate and North Gate of the Kabul Airport were advised to leave immediately. A translated statement from the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed that Americans had been told about a possible ISIS attack on Kabul airport. “The Taliban are committed to the international community and will not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan as a base for their operations. The Taliban have warned US troops about possible terrorist groups such as ISIS,” Mujahid said.
We can confirm that the explosion near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport has resulted in an unknown number of casualties. We will continue to update.— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
Security alert from US Embassy Kabul http://pic.twitter.com/asgLkugLj0— Dion Nissenbaum (@DionNissenbaum) August 26, 2021
"We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can," Pentagon's press secretary John Kirby had tweeted earlier, after the first blast. According to NBS News, President Joe Biden has been briefed about the blast. The Ministry of Defense in the United Kingdom also put out a statement about the explosions. “We are working urgently to establish what has happened and its impact on the ongoing evacuation effort. Our primary concern remains the safety of our personnel, British citizens, and the citizens of Afghanistan. We are in close contact with our US and other NATO allies at an operational level on the immediate response to this incident," they added in a statement.
We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can.— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
“Our primary concern remains the safety of our personnel, British citizens and the citizens of Afghanistan. We are in close contact with our US and other NATO allies at an operational level on the immediate response to this incident.”— Dan Sabbagh (@dansabbagh) August 26, 2021
According to a correspondent for The National in Beirut, Gareth Browne, "There were dozens of UK nationals queuing in the area, trying to get repatriated on UK flights. They had been waiting hours to get through the gates despite British passports." He also posted a graphic image of the aftermath of the blast where a number of civilians were seen with blood-covered faces.
There were dozens of UK nationals queuing in the area, trying to get repatriated on UK flights. They had been waiting hours to get through the gates despite British passports.— Gareth Browne (@BrowneGareth) August 26, 2021
Sky News’s Stuart Ramsey, who was reporting from Kabul airport said he had been told that the first explosion took place in the canal running alongside the main road approaching the airport. It was here that people were queuing up to get processed for evacuation flights. He said his contacts had told him it was a suicide bomber who had detonated the device in the canal.
Us official says initial reports are that U.S. service members, potentially two or three, are among those injured in the attack.— Idrees Ali (@idreesali114) August 26, 2021
NEW: Suicide bomber “complex SBIED attack” with firefight at Abbey Gate outside Kabul airport; Afghan casualties: US official— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) August 26, 2021
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
The Western forces evacuated 13,400 people out of Kabul on 91 military cargo aircraft flights. Approximately 95,700 people have been airlifted out of Afghanistan, since the mass evacuations began on August 14. About 101,300 people have been evacuated since the end of July, including about 4,500 US citizens and their families. However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that there may be as many as 1,500 Americans in Afghanistan left to evacuate adding that it was “difficult to pin down with absolute precision at any given moment.”