Taliban condemn blasts, say airport under US Military control
KABUL — The death toll in the twin bomb explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday rises above 100 including 13 US military personnel and more than 150 including eighteen US service members were injured, according to reports.
The blasts ripped through crowds trying to enter the American-controlled facility, disrupting the final push of the US-led evacuation effort.
A Taliban official says at least 28 of the Afghans killed were Taliban members.
Evacuation of civilians have now been accelerated after the bomb blasts, a Western security official told a global news wire, adding that flights are taking off regularly.
While the bomb explosions near the crowded evacuation centre raised an international outrage, US President Joe Biden has sworn revenge on the attackers, saying he would “hunt them down”.
As the US warned that more attacks could come, with US commanders said they were on alert for possible rockets or vehicle-borne bombs targeting the airport, BBC said.
The prime suspect for the suicide bombing at Kabul airport is the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan known as Islamic State Khorasan Province, ISIS-KP, The Guardian reported.
According to Al Jazeera, Thursday’s attack was claimed by ISIL (ISIS) offshoot in Afghanistan, The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), which said its suicide bombers singled out “translators and collaborators with the American army”.
Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, said on Sunday there was an acute and “persistent” threat to the continuing evacuations from the Afghan capital from ISIS-K – which takes its name Khorasan from that used by a series of Muslim imperial rulers for a swath of land stretching from Iran to the western Himalayas.
The airport is the only part of the country under foreign control following the Taliban’s return to power on August 15, and huge crowds have massed in the hope of being evacuated.
The Taliban condemned the blasts, saying they were in an area under US military control.
“The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing targeting civilians at Kabul airport,” said a statement released by Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman on Twitter.