Update: Latest reports suggest up to 12 U.S. military personnel have been killed. 60 people are reported injured. The numbers are expected to rise.
The U.S. ambassador in Kabul has confirmed that four U.S. Marines were killed in an explosion outside the city’s airport.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby has confirmed that two attacks have taken place, and that the first blast has killed American and other civilians. He tweeted: “We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.”
According to Townhall, officials have confirmed that three U.S. Marines were injured in the attacks.
Update: Larisa Brown, Defense Editor at The Times, reports that there was a second explosion.
An already chaotic situation has descended further into anarchy at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, as an explosion and gunfire erupted.
The airport’s Abbey Gate was hit by a large explosion, followed by gunfire, according to Pentagon officials. The attack appears to be a suicide terror bombing, suggests Fox News National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin.
Freelance journalist Bilal Sarwary also described in a tweet:
“Sewage canal where Afghans were vetted after their documents was packed with Afghans including women and children. A suicide attacker blew himself up in the middle of a large crowd. At least another attacker started shooting, multiple eye witnesses in the area&a friend tells me.”
A Taliban official says at least 11 were killed in the blast, including foreigners and children. Robbie Gramer at Foreign Policy writes that U.S. soldiers were likely among those injured or killed: “The State Department Ops Center issued an alert to staff stating: ‘Initial reports suggest four or more U.S. service personnel may have been injured or killed in the explosion at HKIA.'”
Taliban guards were also wounded, according to Al Jazeera.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby commented on the explosion, saying the U.S. is unsure of the possible death toll. President Biden has reportedly been briefed on the development.
French ambassador to Afghanistan, David Martinon, warned that a second blast is possible, cautioning people in the area to leave and find shelter.
As reported by Liberty Nation’s Dave Patterson, the U.S. State Department had on August 25 warned its citizens away from the airport area, advising that the area was likely under threat from terrorist groups such as ISIS-K – a warning it appears that has come to fruition. The State Department directive told U.S. citizens to leave the airport, announcing:
“Event: Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.”
With the airport a potential hotspot for violence, some reports indicate that U.S. forces are engaging in covert missions to collect Americans from other areas of Kabul.
Liberty Nation will keep you updated on this developing situation.