Attack at Kabul airport leaves more than 80 dead

Foreign diplomats had warned earlier in the day that there was a threat of attack at Kabul airport, where thousands of people are waiting to be airlifted.

Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, August 26, 2021. (AP)

More than 80 people have been killed in the twin explosions outside Kabul airport, officials at the Emergency Hospital told TRT World.

The death toll can rise as many of the injured were taken to other hospitals in the city.

The Pentagon said that the

The US Defense Department said that the attack left 13 American troops dead and 18 more injured.

confirmed that 13 Americans soldiers have also been killed in the attack.

US Pentagon spokesperson Kirby said the explosion took place near Kabul airport’s Abbey gate, where thousands of people have flocked as they try to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

One of the bombers struck people standing knee-deep in a wastewater canal under the sweltering sun, throwing bodies into the fetid water.

Those who moments earlier had hoped to get on flights out could be seen carrying the wounded to ambulances in a daze, their own clothes darkened with blood.

A second US official said the complex attack was believed to have been carried out by Daesh terrorist group.

Adam Khan was waiting nearby when he saw the first explosion outside what’s known as the Abbey gate. He said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded, including some who were maimed.

The second blast was at or near Baron Hotel, where many people, including Afghans, Britons and Americans, were told to gather in recent days before heading to the airport for evacuation.

‘Pool of blood’

A witness said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded.

Ahmedyar, an eyewitness, who was 300 metres away from the blast, said the explosion was very loud and that the civilian casualties are “in hundreds”.

“I ran to help those injured in the blast, but could not get close to them. They were all in a pool of blood,” he told TRT World.

Footage and pictures shared on Twitter show charred and bloodied bodies scattered in a sewage drain where hundreds of people had waited for hours to verify their documents.

Khan, a witness, who was waiting outside the airport, said the explosion went off in a crowd of people waiting to enter the airport.

Khan, who said he was standing about 30 metres away, said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded, including some who lost body parts.

Taliban condemns attack

The Taliban condemned the deadly blasts saying the US forces were responsible for security in the area where the explosion occurred.

“The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing targeting civilians at Kabul airport,” a statement released by the group’s spokesman on Twitter said.

“The explosion took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security.”

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation Dr Abdullah Abdullah also calling it a “terrorist attack”.

“I strongly condemn the terrorist attack at Kabul Airport which killed and wounded a large number of the civilians,” he posted on Twitter.

Western nations had warned earlier in the day of a possible attack at the airport in the waning days of a massive airlift.

Suspicion for any attack targeting the crowds would likely fall on Daesh and not the Taliban, who have been deployed at the airport’s gates trying to control the mass of people.

But just days, or even hours for some nations, before the evacuation effort ends, few appeared to heed the call.

Over the last week, the airport has been the scene of some of the most searing images of the chaotic end of America’s longest war and the Taliban’s takeover, as flight after flight took off carrying those who fear a return to the militants’ brutal rule.

Already, some countries have ended their evacuations and begun to withdraw their soldiers and diplomats, signalling the beginning of the end of one of history’s largest airlifts.

The Taliban have pledged not to attack Western forces during the evacuation, but insist the foreign troops must be out by America’s self-imposed deadline of August 31.

More than 95,000 Afghans and foreigners have fled Afghanistan via the US-led airlift since the hardline Taliban movement took control of the country.

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