Eleven U.S. Marines and one Navy medic were killed in a suicide attack Thursday morning at Kabul’s airport. Dozens more were wounded.
At least 60 Afghans were killed, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Taliban have condemned the attack outside Kabul’s airport, saying it occurred in an area controlled by U.S. forces.
The attack was believed to be carried out by Afghanistan’s Islamic State group affiliate, which is separate from and more radical than the Taliban
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby also confirmed the blasts, saying one was near an airport entrance and another was a short distance away by a hotel.
“We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport,” Kirby tweeted. “A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack.”
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones and teammates of all of those killed and injured,” he added.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
One explosion went off in a crowd of people waiting to enter the airport, according to Adam Khan, an Afghan waiting nearby. He said several people appeared to have been killed or wounded, including some who lost body parts.
Several countries urged people to avoid the airport earlier in the day, with one saying there was a threat of a suicide bombing. But just days — or even hours for some nations — before the evacuation effort ends, few appeared to heed the call.
CBS News Radio’s White House Correspondent Steven Portnoy noted in a tweet, “These are the first US service members to be killed in action in Afghanistan in more than a year and a half. The last hostile death of an American prior to today was of a US Army sergeant in February 2020 in a “Green on Blue” attack, per http://icasualties.org.”
Former Vice President Mike Pence tweeted, “Praying for the three U.S. Marines and innocent civilians injured in the terrorist attacks near Kabul Airport today. America must do whatever it takes to protect our troops and our citizens stranded in this disastrous withdrawal. God bless them all.”
Praying for the three U.S. Marines and innocent civilians injured in the terrorist attacks near Kabul Airport today. America must do whatever it takes to protect our troops and our citizens stranded in this disastrous withdrawal. God bless them all.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) August 26, 2021