Ground Report: Kabul airport blast kills 72; Two bomb blasts outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Thursday killed at least 72 people, including 12 US soldiers and 60 Afghans, and wounded dozens more. The extremist organization ISIS has claimed responsibility for the incident.
Kabul airport blast kills 72
An Afghan official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 60 Afghans were killed and 143 were injured, according to the Associated Press.
On the other hand, according to the news agency Reuters, the head of the US Central Command, General Frank McKenzie, confirmed that 12 US soldiers were killed and 15 others were injured in the incident. He told a news briefing at the Pentagon that the bombings were followed by an exchange of fire, which also killed and injured several civilians.
According to Reuters, ISIS claimed responsibility for the bombings in a statement to the Aamaq News Agency, which was set up to promote itself. Earlier, Afghan Taliban spokesman Sohail Shaheen condemned the attacks in a statement, saying “these explosions took place when there were a large number of people there.”
“We condemn this horrific incident and will do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he added. A Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby, said in a statement on Twitter that it was a “complex attack” and that some Americans were among those killed, but did not say how many were killed.
Exploded near a hotel outside
According to AFP, one blast took place at the airport’s Abbey Gate, where hundreds of Afghans had been waiting for evacuation for the past several days, while another exploded near a hotel outside the Abbey Gate.
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There have also been reports on social media of the third blast near Kabul Airport, but these could not be confirmed.
It should be noted that many Western countries, including the United States, had already warned of the threat of an attack on Kabul Airport. The British Armed Forces Minister James Happy had said on Thursday that a serious attack on Kabul airport was imminent.
The British government also warned its citizens to stay away from Hamid Karzai International Airport, according to AFP.