In an attack claimed by Daesh Khorasan that killed at least 95 people, including 13 American soldiers, just outside the Kabul airport, American troops helped evacuate Afghans desperate to escape the new Taliban rule. More attacks on Friday Stay vigilant.
Some US media claimed that the death toll from Thursday’s attack was much higher. The attack took place near the airport gate. Since the Taliban took control of the country on August 15, thousands of people have gathered there to try to enter the airport and take evacuation flights.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said that the United States believes that the airport still has a “concrete and credible” threat.
“We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts,” Kirby told reporters in Washington. “We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time.”.
US and allied forces are racing to complete evacuations of their citizens and vulnerable Afghans and to withdraw from Afghanistan by an August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.
Daesh, an enemy of the Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers had targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army”.
A hospital official told Reuters on Friday that the death toll of Afghans had risen to 79, adding that more than 120 people were injured. A Taliban official said that the dead included 28 Taliban members, but a spokesperson later denied that any of their fighters guarding the vicinity of the airport were killed.
Some US media, including the New York Times, quoted local health officials as saying that as many as 170 people, including the US military, were killed in the attack.
This attack marked the first time the US military suffered casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020, and it was also the deadliest incident in Afghanistan in the past decade.
Biden has already faced strong criticism at home and abroad for the chaos surrounding the Taliban’s blitz march into Kabul surrounding the withdrawal of troops.
The attack also highlighted the real politics faced by Western powers in Afghanistan: contact with the Taliban that they have long tried to resist may be their best chance to prevent the country from slipping into a warlike breeding ground.
Medical staff in the operating room of the Kabul Emergency Hospital worked all night to treat the wounded.
“Everybody is concerned at this moment in Kabul, nobody knows what to expect in the coming hours,” said Rossella Miccio, president of the Italian aid group that runs the hospital.