12 US Service Members Are Dead After ISIS Attacks at Kabul's Airport

Dozens of Afghan civilians were also killed following the two explosions.

26 August 2021, 2:15pm

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Two explosions caused by ISIS-affiliated suicide bombers went off outside Kabul’s international airport on Thursday afternoon in Afghanistan, the Pentagon confirmed. 

U.S. officials said in a Pentagon press briefing that 11 U.S. Marines and one Navy medic were killed in the attack, as well as a number of Afghans. 15 service members have also been injured.

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At least 30 people have been brought to an emergency room nearby, the New York Times reported

“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can,” wrote Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby on Twitter. Twenty minutes later, Kirby added, “We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.” 

The Barron Hotel has been used by the UK as a base to remove citizens and employees and the Abbey gate is the main entrance to the international airport.

The explosion came after fears of a security threat at the crowded airport facility. On Thursday, the U.S. and its allies warned people crowding around Kabul airport to leave the area, citing the threat of a terror attack. The U.S. State Department said that people at the gates of the airport “should leave immediately,” telling only those with “individual instructions from a US government representative to do so” to go to the airport.

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The possibility of an attack led several European countries to suspend the evacuation of their citizens and former employees from Afghanistan, just days before the Aug 31 deadline set by the Taliban to end the airport evacuation. 

British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told BBC Radio, ”I can't stress the desperation of the situation enough. The threat is credible, it is imminent, it is lethal. We wouldn't be saying this if we weren't genuinely concerned about offering Islamic State a target that is just unimaginable.”

The UK Foreign Office told those who were able to leave the country by other means to “do so immediately.”

Since August 14, The U.S. military has evacuated tens of thousands from the airport, which remains in control of Western troops, even as the rest of the capital is controlled by the Taliban.

3:15pm EST: This story has been updated with the number of U.S. service members killed and details of the ISIS-affiliated attack.

Tagged:

US military, Taliban, Kabul, worldnews

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