Report: 13 Dead after Two Suicide Attacks Outside Kabul Airport


Smoke rises from explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. (AP Photo/Wali Sabawoon)

Russian officials says twin suicide bombings have struck outside Kabul’s airport, killing at least 13 people. Large crowds of people trying to flee Afghanistan have massed at the airport.

Western nations had warned earlier in the day of a possible attack at the airport in the waning days of a massive airlift.

Suspicion for any attack targeting the crowds would likely fall on the Islamic State group and not the Taliban, who have been deployed at the airport’s gates. Russia’s Foreign Ministry gave the first official casualty count, saying 13 people had died and 15 were wounded.

U.S. officials said that American personnel were wounded in the blast, without elaborating. They spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing operations.

French President Emmanuel Macron said “the situation has seriously deteriorated” near the Kabul airport after “several explosions happened in the last hours.” Macron spoke on Thursday at a news conference during a visit to Dublin, Ireland. He says that “we are facing an extremely tense situation.”

Canada has ended its evacuations from Afghanistan as the clock ticks down on dramatic Western efforts to help people flee the Taliban takeover ahead of a full American withdrawal. General Wayne Eyre says all the other countries have to leave the airport before the Americans can wrap up their mission. Canadian military flights evacuated about 3,700 people.

President Joe Biden has declared that he is sticking to his Aug. 31 deadline for completing the U.S. pullout as the Taliban insisted he must, ramping up pressure on the already risky airlift from Kabul to get out as many people as possible in the coming days.

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