Children, US soldiers among casualties in explosions outside Kabul airport

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Smoke rises from the explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. | AP/WALI SABAWOON

Children, adults, and US military personnel were among those killed or injured in two explosions near Kabul’s international airport on Thursday. The airport is the site of a chaotic evacuation effort that the Biden administration hopes to complete by early next week.

The reason of the explosions, which killed more than a dozen individuals, is still unknown. At least 13 people, including children, were killed in the bombings, according to Reuters, citing a Taliban official.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the United States Defense Department, stated that at least two explosions occurred, one of which he described as “the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of U.S. and civilian casualties.”

Medical staff carry a wounded man on a stretcher to be treated after two explosions, outside Kabul airport on 26 August 2021. | AFP/AKIL KOHSAR

“We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from [the Kabul airport’s] Abbey Gate,” Kirby wrote on Twitter.

According to Reuters, at least one of the explosions on Thursday was triggered by a suicide attack, according to unnamed US official.

The blasts happened after the United States, the United Kingdom, and other Western nations cautioned citizens not to travel to the Kabul airport early Thursday, citing “extremely credible” intelligence indicating a likely strike.

Following the tragic blasts, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid announced in a statement that Afghan officials were investigating, “have warned U.S. troops about possible terrorist groups such as ISIS.”

Injured women arrive at a hospital after two explosions, outside the airport in Kabul on 26 August 2021. | AFP/AKIL KOHSAR

“The Taliban are committed to the international community and will not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan as a base for their operations,” Mujahid added.

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