At least 103 people were killed, including 90 Afghans and 13 US soldiers, at the Kabul airport on Thursday night when two blasts ripped through crowds desperately trying to enter the airport still under US control in a bid to flee the war-torn country. Hundreds of people, including 18 US soldiers, have been injured in the blast and are being treated at hospitals.
The first suicide bomb attack took place at the airport’s Abbey Gate which was followed by an assault by gunmen. The second bomb exploded near a hotel outside the airport. Video taken in the aftermath of the attack showed corpses in a waste water canal by the airport fence, some being fished out and laid in heaps while wailing civilians searched for loved ones.
The Biden administration has set an August 31 deadline for the complete withdrawal of the US troops from the country even as there are still thousands of people left to be evacuated.
IS behind attack
Islamic State (ISIS), an enemy of the Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army”. US officials also blamed the group and vowed retribution.
General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said US commanders were on alert for more attacks by Islamic State, including possibly rockets or vehicle-borne bombs targeting the airport. “We’re doing everything we can to be prepared,” he said, adding that some intelligence was being shared with the Taliban and that he believed “some attacks have been thwarted by them.”
Biden said he had ordered the Pentagon to plan how to strike ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate that claimed responsibility. “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden said during televised comments from the White House.
Strongly condemning the terrorist strikes in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, India has told the UN Security Council that these attacks reinforce the need for the world to stand unitedly against terrorism and all those who provide sanctuaries to terrorists.
“Let me begin by strongly condemning the terrorist attack in Kabul. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack,” India’s permanent representative to the UN and president of the Security Council ambassador TS Tirumurti said.
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