- Local media claimed at least 40 died in the twin blasts outside airport
- The blasts took place amid a huge evacuation rush by US and other nations
- Recently, US and allies had warned of a threat by the Islamic State
The twin blasts at Kabul airport this evening, which according to the local media claimed at least 40 lives and injured many others, is suspected to the work of the terrorists of Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), after an old name for the region. Government sources claimed that as of now, no group has claimed responsibility, but initial information coming out of Kabul indicates ISIS-K’s involvement.
The attacks took place amid a huge rush by the US and other nations to evacuate their citizens. For days, distressed Afghans desperate to leave the country have been thronging the airport. Recently, the US and allies had urged Afghans to leave the area because of a threat by the Islamic State.
An alert has been sounded in the city, as the authorities suspect that more strikes may follow.
“We can confirm that a number of US service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport. A number of others are being treated for wounds,” read a statement from Pentagon’s Press Secretary John Kirby.
US officials have said there are about 5,200 American troops providing security at the Kabul airport, reported news agency Reuters.
Reports also suggest that NATO forces have also taken a hit.
As per initial information, the first blast took place at the Abbey gate of the airport, which was being manned by US troops. A Taliban official said killed at least 13 people, including children, and wounded many Taliban guards.
Information being shared with India suggests that in the first blast, the bomber was wearing a suicide vest, in which IEDs (Improvised Explosive Device) were attached.
IEDs were used in the second blast as well.
“The first explosion was reported near the Abbey gate entrance of the airport. Some 13 people were killed and 15 were injured in a suicide bomb attack,” an official said.
According to him, three US personnel are among the injured in this attack.
Indian intelligence agencies have been told that the second explosion was reported near the Baron hotel close to the airport, where British troops and staff stay. This is the same hotel from where Chinook helicopters rescued some 160 Americans from its rooftop, Saigon style, on August 19.
“The UNHCR is trying to find out the whereabouts of one national staff, who had gone to the airport,” he adds.
US Intelligence reports had indicated a possibility of attack. India is closely watching situation, officials said.