Trapped Afghans, kills over 90, including 13 US Marines
What was feared happened: the Kabul airport, stormed by Afghans and Westerners who want to leave the country, was hit by three explosions: one in the evening and two more when it was already night Afghanistan. At least 90 dead and 150 injured, even if the balance remains uncertain. The Taliban themselves speak of 72 civilians killed. Among the victims are 13 US marines. Isis claimed responsibility for the attack less than an hour after.
Since the night, all Western intelligence agencies had warned of “an imminent attack,” and shortly before, the Joe Biden administration had called on their compatriots to leave the airport area “immediately.”
The first explosion occurred near the Abbey Gate of the international airport, the busiest one, near the British checkpoint, and was followed by gunshots. According to local media, it is a suicide bombing. Shortly after, when alerts were already circulating to leave the area, another explosion occurred outside The Baron Hotel, where Westerners waited to board flights.
The attack follows a frantic morning in which shots were recorded at the address of an Italian C-130 and in which several Western countries had announced the end of their evacuation flights, precisely fearing an imminent attack.
President Joe Biden, who had already met in the Situation Room with his closest advisors for a meeting on Afghanistan, was immediately updated; and the meeting was quickly joined by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, General Milley, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. In addition, a journalist from Kabul translated and released a statement by the Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, which reads that the Americans had been informed of a possible ISIS attack at Kabul airport as anticipated yesterday by The Arab Post.
“The Taliban, engaged with the international community, will not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan as a base for their operations. The Taliban have warned American troops of possible terrorist groups such as ISIS,” Zabihullah’s statement read. The terrorist attack at Kabul airport shows that the Afghan people are trapped. “We are trapped and exhausted; we do not know where to go,” a man told a reporter; while near the airport, the crowd panics. Meanwhile, Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had reached an agreement with the Taliban to continue evacuation flights even after August 31.