On August 26, an explosion was heard just outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, where thousands of US and NATO troops have been operating nonstop to evacuate their citizens and Afghan collaborators from the Taliban-held Afghan capital Kabul for nearly two weeks.
The explosion reportedly took place near the Abbey gate entrance in the southeastern part of the airport, where British troops are known to be stationed.
“We don’t have any record of UK military casualties but it’s too early to know for sure,” a UK Ministry of Defense told the BBC.
Meanwhile, a US official has told the Reuters news agency the explosion was caused by a suicide bomber. From its side, the White House confirmed that President Biden has been briefed on incident.
At least eleven people were wounded or killed as a result of the explosion. According to Reuters, three of the casualties appear to be US service members.
🚨⚠️ AFGANISTÁN ⚠️🚨
Se confirma que la explosión en el aeropuerto de Kabul fue un atentado suicida. Hay varios heridos gravemente tras el ataque. pic.twitter.com/l4f6JiZmss
— Alex Tienda 🌎 (@AlexTienda) August 26, 2021
🚨Multiple injured in Kabul explosion…🚨 pic.twitter.com/1oAkb6EBMs
— eight6se7en5 (@eight6se7en5) August 26, 2021
— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) August 26, 2021
Following the explosion, France ambassador to Kabul, who is currently working from Hamid Karzai International Airport, warned from a second attack.
“To all of our Afghan friends: If you are near the airport gates, get away urgently and take cover. A second explosion is possible,” the ambassador, David Martinon, wrote on Twitter.
A few minutes later a second explosion was reported, this time near the Baron Hotel outside the airport. US citizens were gathered in the hotel a few days ago ahead of evacuation.
Earlier, the US urged crowds trying to access Hamid Karzai International Airport to leave the area. Furthermore, British and Australian governments warned of a “high threat” of a “terrorist” attack.
ISIS-Khorasan Province (ISIS-KP), whose cells are to known to be present and active in Kabul, was likely behind the attack. The Taliban, which maintains a strong security presence around Hamid Karzai International Airport, stands to gain northing from the attack.
The attack may affect the US evacuation plans. So far, more than 95,000 people have been evacuated by US forces from Kabul. The process may end on August 31, the deadline set by President Joe Biden for the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan.
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