Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Pentagon bracing for more attacks after troops killed at Kabul airport

WorldAug 26, 2021 07:13PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Crowds of people wait outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 25, 2021 in this picture obtained from social media. Twitter/DAVID_MARTINON via REUTERS 2/2

By Idrees Ali, Jonathan Landay and Humeyra Pamuk

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -American forces in Kabul were bracing for more Islamic State attacks while winding up their evacuation mission, U.S. officials said, as the number of U.S. troops killed in Thursday's suicide bomb attack rose to 13.

A U.S. official told Reuters the number of U.S. personnel killed was likely to rise even higher. More than a dozen were wounded.

The attack marked the first U.S. military casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020 and represented the deadliest incident for American troops in the country in a decade.

At least two explosions tore through crowds that had thronged the gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport desperate to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban seized power almost two weeks ago ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw American troops after two decades.

In a statement, Islamic State claimed responsibility and said one of its suicide bombers had targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army."

Marine Corps General Frank McKenzie, head of the U.S. military's Central Command, told a news briefing the explosions were followed by gunfight. McKenzie said the threat from Islamic State persists alongside "other active threat streams."

"We believe it is their desire to continue these attacks and we expect those attacks to continue - and we're doing everything we can to be prepared," McKenzie said.

McKenzie added that future potential attacks could include rockets being fired at the airport or car bombs attempting to get in. McKenzie said he saw nothing that would convince him that Taliban forces had let the attack take place.

The U.S. military said that in addition to the 13 killed, 18 were injured and in the process of being evacuated on C-17s with surgical units.

U.S. officials said one bomb detonated near the airport's Abbey Gate and the other was close to the nearby Baron Hotel.

RACE AGAINST TIME

A massive airlift of U.S. and other foreign nationals and their families as well as some Afghans has been under way since the day before Taliban forces captured Kabul on Aug. 15, capping a swift advance across the country as American and allied troops withdrew.

The United States has been racing to carry out the airlift before its military is set to fully withdraw from the country by Aug. 31. McKenzie said the evacuation mission was not going to stop.

"I think we can continue to conduct our mission, even while we are receiving attacks like this," McKenzie said, adding that U.S. forces will "go after" the perpetrators of Thursday's attack.

McKenzie said there were about 1,000 U.S. citizens estimated to be still in Afghanistan. A spokesperson for the State Department said more than two thirds of these Americans had informed it they were taking steps to leave Afghanistan.

Islamic State militants have emerged in Afghanistan as enemies both of the West and the Taliban. A 2001 U.S.-led invasion toppled the Taliban from power after the group had harbored the al Qaeda militants responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. The U.S. military death toll in the Afghanistan war since 2001 stood at roughly 2,500.

Afghan health officials were quoted as saying 60 civilians died, but it was not clear whether that was a complete count. Video uploaded by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies and wounded victims strewn around a canal on the edge of the airport.

U.S. officials have said there are about 5,200 American troops providing airport security. The attacks came after the United States and allies had urged Afghans to leave the area around the airport because of a threat by Islamic State.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul a day earlier had advised Americans to avoid traveling to the airport and said those already at the gates should leave immediately, citing unspecified "security threats."

The United States and its allies have mounted one of the biggest air evacuations in history, bringing out about 95,700 people, including 13,400 on Wednesday, according to the White House.

Pentagon bracing for more attacks after troops killed at Kabul airport
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email