At least 72 civilians and 13 US service members were killed on Thursday when two suicide bombers and a gunman struck one of the main entrances to Kabul’s international airport. It was occurred just hours after western intelligence agencies warned of an imminent threat to the ongoing, urgent evacuation operation.
- Children were among those who died. The attack marks deadliest day for US troops in more than a decade. Thursday’s attacks marked the deadliest day for US troops in Afghanistan since 6 August 2011, and the first military deaths since February 2020.
- On Thursday afternoon US president Joe Biden vowed revenge when he spoke briefly at the White. He said, “We will not forget,” as he vowed to hunt down the people behind the attacks. He held firm on the 31 August deadline and said that the US would get any Americans left in Afghanistan out of the country. The Islamic State leaders who ordered the attacks would be found “without large military operations”, he said.
- US secretary of state Antony Blinken confirmed 100,000 people have now been evacuated from Kabul. In a statement, he called the bombings “a devastating reminder of the dangerous conditions in which our service members and diplomats are operating as we conclude the United States’ 20-year military mission in Afghanistan”.
Meanwhile, US officials strongly believe that the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State, known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), was responsible for the attack. ISIS-K is opposed by the United States and the Taliban.