13 US troops die in Kabul blast as Joe Biden vows to avenge deaths
President Joe Biden addressed the twin blasts in Kabul on Thursday, August 26 evening from the White House. "We will not forgive, we will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay," Biden said, his voice shaking with emotion. The attack has claimed the lives of 13 American troops, as well as many civilians the count for which remains unconfirmed.
The Islamic State Khorasan known as the ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the attack. Earlier this week, Pentagon commanders had warned that the group was 'targeting' evacuation planes flying out of Afghanistan's national capital. On August 24, Biden had warned of the threat posed by the jihadist organization following which Pentagon officials shared more details behind closed doors. "Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops," Biden said on Tuesday, August 24. "ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians," he noted.
Who are the 13 US servicemen killed in Kabul bomb blasts?
Two suicide bomb attacks near Kabul airport - one near Abbey Gate and another at Baron hotel - claimed more than 100 lives which include at least 90 Afghans. It was also reported that 12 US servicemen were included in the death count and a later report said a 13th US troop had died following the attacks. Pentagon confirmed 18 US service members were injured. The names of the ones who've died and the wounded have not been released yet, we will update this article with further developments.
This attack is being marked as the deadliest day for the US troops in the crisis-torn country since 2011's invasion. The military has warned against considering this as an isolated attack and that there'll be more that are expected to follow according to Marine Corps Gen. Frank McKenzie. President Biden has sent out a strong message for the killer group however, he hadn't made any contact with the families of the slain troops till 6 pm on August 26 as the Pentagon was still notifying them of the tragedy. Biden's press secretary Jen Psaki at her briefing had announced that the US flags at the White House will remain lowered to half staff the president's official residence, all military bases, and federal buildings till August 30.
At the end of his news conference, Biden indulged in an unpleasant back and forth with Fox News' Peter Doocy where he once again pushed the blame around for the catastrophe in Kabul. "I bear responsibility for fundamentally all that's happened of late. But here's the deal: You know, I wish you'd one day say these things, you know as well as I do, that the former President made a deal with the Taliban," Biden siad when questioned about his decision regarding full troop withdrawal which he still stands behind squarely.