At least 13 were killed from a suicide bombing attack at Kabul Airport in 2 blasts, first a suicide bombing followed by sniper gun firing.
At least 13 people including children killed in the first blast outside Kabul Airport, casualties from the second blast are still unclear. Civilians and U.S. service members were among the casualties. The death toll could be much higher.
The Taliban reported that at least 13 people were killed in the blast, including children, and many Taliban guards were wounded. This attack occurs after several intelligence reports suspected an ISIS-led attack in Kabul.
The second blast was reported at the gates of Baron Hotel which is near the airport. The hotel serves as a guest house for the NATO forces. Fox News reports that the second explosion outside Baron Hotel was near Kabul Aiport, which is said to be a guest house for NATO allied forces.
Turkish Defense reports two explosions outside Kabul airport. Citing local Afghan media reports. After the suicide bombing attack, there was also firing which is also said to be sniper shots.
The Pentagon said on Thursday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby reported that one blast occurred near the airport’s Abbey Gate and the other close to the nearby Baron Hotel. Two U.S. officials said at least one of the explosions appeared to be from a suicide bombing.
“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,” Kirby said on Twitter. “We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.”
A U.S. official told Reuters as many as three U.S. service members were among those hurt, and that U.S. casualty numbers were expected to increase, according to initial information. At least one of the U.S. personnel was seriously hurt, an official said.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul described “a large explosion” and said there had been reports of gunfire.
The explosion came after the United States and its allies urged Afghans to leave the area because of a threat by the Islamic State.
An extensive airlift of foreign nationals and their families, as well as some Afghans, has been initiated since the day before Taliban forces captured Kabul on Aug. 15, swiftly taking over the country as US troops withdrew.
The United States has been scrambling hurridly to carry out the airlift before its military is set to fully move out of Afghanistan on August 31.
The United States and its allies have undertaken one of the biggest air evacuations in history, bringing out about 95,700 people, including 13,400 on Wednesday, the White House said on Thursday.