Update 8/26/21, 3:49 p.m. ET: The Associated Press reported that at least 12 U.S. service members and at least 60 Afghans were killed in the terrorist attacks at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Thursday. Hundreds more are reportedly wounded.
ISIS terrorists are suspected to have carried out the attacks, which consisted of two large explosions followed by ISIS fighters spraying gunfire. At least one of the explosions was set off by a suicide bomber, Pentagon officials announced in a briefing.
The AP’s figures matched reporting from Fox News host Bret Baier, who said earlier in the afternoon that the number of U.S. service members killed was at least 10, citing U.S. military sources.
Here’s more from the AP:
U.S. officials said 11 Marines and one Navy medic were among those who died. They said another 12 service members were wounded and warned the toll could grow. More than 140 Afghans were wounded, an Afghan official said.
President Joe Biden plans to address the American people about the attacks at 5 p.m. ET.
Update 8/26/21, 1:37 p.m. ET: Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed that Thursday’s terrorist attacks at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan resulted in the deaths of multiple U.S. service members and Afghan nationals.
“We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport,” Kirby said in a statement. “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 loved ones and teammates of all those killed and injured,” he added.
Statement on this morning’s attack at #HKIA: https://t.co/Qb1DIAJQJU
— John Kirby (@John Kirby)1629998025.0
Update 8/26/21, 11:49 a.m. ET: An unnamed U.S. official told the Associated Press that the suicide attacks are “definitely believed” to have been carried out by ISIS, an Islamic terrorist group that many feared would reemerge in Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.
Update 8/26/21, 11:26 a.m. ET: The Pentagon has confirmed that two separate explosions occurred outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan Thursday morning — one near the Abbey Gate and another next to the Baron Hotel.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby reported in a tweet that the terrorist attacks resulted in “a number of US & civilian casualties.”
We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of… https://t.co/VaM7rp3TQA
— John Kirby (@John Kirby)1629989863.0
According to USA Today, an emergency hospital in Kabul said that 30 people wounded in the explosions arrived for treatment on Thursday, and 6 were reported dead on arrival.
Update 8/26/21, 11:03 a.m. ET: Photos and videos have begun to emerge from the incident, showing Afghani medical services attempting to treat the wounded.
(Warning: The following media contains graphic content)
Update 8/26/21, 10:38 a.m. ET: Witnesses informed the Associated Press that multiple people have been wounded in the suicide bombing that took place Thursday morning outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, where large crowds have gathered in attempt to flee the country amid the Taliban takeover.
The witness, Adam Khan, told the news agency that “the explosion went off in a crowd of people waiting to enter the airport” and that “several people appeared to have been killed or wounded, including some who lost body parts.”
Politico is reporting that ISIS is responsible for the attack.
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan issued a dire security alert, urging U.S. citizens to “avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates at this time.”
“There has been a large explosion at the airport, and there are reports of gunfire,” the alert stated, adding, “U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.”
Update 8/26/21, 10:22 a.m. ET: The explosion outside the airport was the result of a suicide bombing, Fox News reported.
The outlet added that at least three U.S. Marines have been wounded in the attack, which occurred near the Abbey Gate of the complex after someone detonated a vest strapped with explosives. Further details about their injuries are not yet known. Official counts on the number of casualties are still being assessed.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the explosion, a White House official confirmed to Reuters. The president was reportedly in a briefing with national security officials about the situation in Afghanistan when he was informed of the incident.
Original story below
The Pentagon has confirmed that a large explosion has taken place outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can,” tweeted Pentagon press secretary John Kirby Thursday morning.
We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can.
— John Kirby (@John Kirby)1629985491.0
Multiple news outlets have indicated that there are Afghan casualties, but information is still coming in.
Fox News also reported that the large explosion is the result of a suicide bombing, but that information has not yet been confirmed.
In recent days, the U.S., along with several other countries, issued security alerts about the imminent threat of a terrorist attack at the airport.
A British official warned on Thursday that there was “very, very credible reporting of an imminent attack” that could take place within “hours” as Western troops finalize evacuation efforts from Afghanistan.
The Biden administration’s self-imposed deadline for departing Afghanistan is Aug. 31.
This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.