Islamic State suicide bombers attacked a crowd gathered outside Kabul airport on Thursday, hoping to flee Taliban-held Afghanistan, killing dozens of people, including 13 US soldiers. , While President Joe Biden vowed to find those responsible.
The Taliban said both blasts killed 13 to 20 people. A health official in the previous government said the number could rise to 60.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack, which further emboldened the US-led campaign to drive people out of Afghanistan as the hardline Islamist group seized power.
The bombings at the airport come as the August 31 deadline for the United States to withdraw its troops and for that and other Western countries to dismantle a large-scale aircraft that already has about 100,000 people on board. Has been removed.
The crisis in Afghanistan fundamentally shook his presidency, with Biden clearly shaking to address the American people after the worst US military casualties in Afghanistan since 2011.
He said the American soldiers who died in the airport bombings were heroes, and vowed to catch those behind the attack. “We will not forgive,” he said. We will not forget We will hunt you down and pay you.
Biden said evacuation efforts would continue and would be completed by the end of the month as scheduled.
Asked if he was responsible for the deaths of U.S. service members killed Thursday, Biden said: “I am primarily responsible for everything that happened late.”
The attack added to the deadly drama unfolding at the airport. It is the only part of the country under foreign control since the Taliban came to power on August 15, and large crowds have gathered in hopes of evacuation.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP that the twin blasts killed 13 to 20 people and wounded 52, while hospitals in Kabul reportedly killed six and injured 90.
A pre-Taliban health official said the death toll could rise to 60, but added that their names could not be released and other sources could not confirm the figures.
The head of US Central Command, General Kenneth McKenzie, initially said 12 US soldiers had been killed. Another soldier died later, and the latest U.S. casualty was 18, Central Command said.
An indefinite number of Afghan civilians have been killed, McKenzie said.
McKinsey said the bombings were carried out by Islamic State suicide bombers, and that US aircraft would continue to strike.
“ISIL will not stop us from completing the mission,” he said.
McKinsey told a news conference that the United States expects more Islamic State attacks in Kabul and is ready to retaliate.
Later, early Friday, a loud explosion was heard in Kabul. Mujahid said it was a controlled bombing by US troops at the airport, a statement that could not be independently verified.
Biden had previously cited a “severe” terrorist threat from the jihadist group’s regional chapter.
Islamic State rivals the Taliban have condemned the bombings, saying they took place in a US-controlled area.
A graphic video shared on social media shows bodies submerged in a canal adjacent to the airport, where thousands of people have gathered since the Taliban took over on August 15 as they exit the flight.
“When people heard the (first) explosion, there was complete panic,” Milad told AFP.
“The Taliban then opened fire in the air to disperse the crowd. I saw a man running into the hands of an injured child.”
The U.S. government and its allies sounded the alarm early in the day, warning its citizens to avoid the airport.
After the blasts, photos posted on social media showed men escorting the injured to a safe place in a wheelbarrow.
In another photo, a boy is seen holding the arm of a man whose clothes were soaked in blood.
Since the hardline Taliban movement took control of the country, more than 95,000 Afghans and foreigners have fled Afghanistan on US-led planes.
Biden did not meet the August 31 deadline – even some foreign countries warned that they would be forced to leave endangered Afghans behind.
Many Western allies have already wrapped up their air operations, including in Canada, whose government has said it is “really heartbreaking” to release those who want to save.
Attacks on unarmed people at the airport who are desperate to flee for safety have been condemned around the world, with Britain calling it barbaric and Germany abhorrent. The United Nations has called an emergency meeting of the permanent members of the Security Council on Monday.
In Washington, Republicans said Congress should end the summer vacation and discuss what they call the withdrawal of American chaos from Afghanistan.
In recent years, the Islamic State’s Afghanistan-Pakistan chapter has been responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in those countries.
It has massacred civilians in mosques, shrines, public squares and even hospitals.
The group has targeted Muslims in particular from sects they consider religious, including Shiites.
But while both IS and the Taliban are hardline Sunni Islamist militants, they are at odds with each other.
The Taliban have promised a soft-brand rule since their first term in office, ending in 2001 when the United States invaded because they harbored al-Qaeda.
But many Afghans fear the Taliban’s brutal interpretation of Islamic law, as well as violent retaliation for working with foreign militants, Western missions or the former US-backed government.
There are particular concerns for women, who were largely barred from education and employment and could leave home with only one man during the group’s 1996-2001 period.
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