The United States says it destroyed an explosive-laden car in Kabul on Sunday, just hours after President Joe Biden warned of another terrorist attack in the capital. A large Afghan plane had entered its last days.
A Taliban spokesman confirmed the incident, saying a car bomb had been detonated for the airport – and possibly another strike from a nearby house.
The United States has said it only hit the vehicle, but added that secondary explosions had identified “substantial explosives.”
Local media reported possible civilian casualties, which the United States said it was reviewing.
And just two days before the agreed date of the US withdrawal, the Taliban revealed that their supreme leader, Hebatullah Akhundzada, was in southern Afghanistan and was planning to appear in public.
“He is in Kandahar. He has been living there from the beginning,” said Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The deputy spokesman for the leader, Bilal Karimi, added: “He will soon appear before the public, whose whereabouts have been largely unknown and who has never appeared in public.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a U.S. military base. An Islamic State suicide bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a U.S. military base. About 11,114,000 people have been evacuated since the Taliban returned to power on August 15.
The attack killed more than 100 people, including 13 U.S. service members. Biden traveled to an air base in Delaware on Sunday to attend the funeral of his remains.
Attacks and terrorist threats have slowed the plane before Biden’s withdrawal deadline, which will expire by Tuesday.
About 300 Americans in Afghanistan are still trying to leave the country, US Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship said Sunday.
“They are not trapped in Afghanistan,” said Jack Sullivan, a national security adviser on the Fox Network, adding that the United States had “a way to get them out.”
The Pentagon said on Saturday that retaliatory drone strikes had killed two “high-level” IS jihadists in eastern Afghanistan, but Biden warned of more attacks by the group.
The US Embassy in Kabul later issued a reliable threat warning for certain areas of the airport, including access gates.
In recent years, the Islamic State’s Afghanistan-Pakistan chapter has been responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in those countries.
They have massacred civilians in mosques, public squares, schools and even hospitals.
Although both IS and the Taliban are hardline Sunni Islamists, they are fierce enemies – each claiming to be the true flag bearer of jihad.
The IS attack has forced the US military and the Taliban to co-operate in ensuring security at the airport, which was unimaginable.
On Saturday, Taliban fighters escorted Afghan passengers from buses to the main passenger terminal, handing them over to US forces for evacuation.
After 20 years of war, the enemies were clearly in sight of each other, only 30 meters away.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said US troops had begun withdrawing – without specifying how many remained.
Western allies who assisted the airlift have canceled most evacuation flights. Some people expressed frustration at not being able to blow everyone in danger.
The head of Britain’s armed forces, General Sir Nick Carter, told the BBC it was “shocking” that “we could not get everyone out”.
A White House official said 2,900 people had been evacuated in the 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday, far fewer than at the start of the week.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday that France and Britain would urge the United Nations to work to establish a “safe zone” in Kabul to protect humanitarian aid.
But Macron said talks with the Taliban on the evacuation did not indicate that France was recognizing the hardline group as Afghanistan’s new ruler.
“The Taliban have to be kept under control,” Macron told TF-1 television during a visit to Iraq. Situations “on humanitarian issues, especially women’s rights.
“We have received assurances from the Taliban that” all holders of travel documents will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner, “the State Department said in a statement. “
On Sunday, US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken said he and the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Britain, Turkey, NATO and other “key partners” would discuss a “coherent approach” to moving beyond Afghanistan. Will meet in practice to discuss.
The United Nations has said it is ready for the “worst case scenario” for another 500,000 refugees from Afghanistan by the end of 2021.
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