The bombing of the Kabul international airport in Afghanistan, which killed more than 100 people on Thursday (26), left only one suicide bomber, not two, the US Department of Defense said, correcting information that the agency itself had given the day before.
Until then, it was believed that there had been two explosions, one at the door of the abbey, the main entrance to the airport, and another near the Hotel Baron, which had been confirmed by the Pentagon itself.
This latest explosion, however, did not happen, a representative of the agency said on Friday (27). “We don’t believe there was a second explosion in or near the Hotel Baron. It was a suicide bombing,” US Army Major General William Taylor told reporters at Kabul. There is still no explanation for what the second explosion indicated.
At least 95 Afghans and 13 US servicemen were killed in the attack, bringing the total number of victims to 108, according to the Associated Press news agency based on an investigation by Afghan and US officials. Among the Afghans, at least 28 were members of the Taliban.
Estimates also indicate that more than 160 people have been injured. American soldiers who have been affected are receiving medical treatment in Germany, the major general said.
The attack was claimed by ISIS Khorasan, the Afghan wing of ISIS created in 2014 and enemy of the fundamentalist group that seized power in Afghanistan on the 15th.
US President Joe Biden has pledged revenge on the perpetrators of the bombing and has already started sharing intelligence information with the so-called rival Taliban to prevent further attacks, which the government fears will they didn’t happen as early as this Friday. .
U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie said the U.S. military was preparing for further attacks, including possible car bombs and rocket launches at the airport, the agency said. Reuters press release. “We are doing everything we can to prepare,” he said of the occasional alliance with the Taliban.
IS-K, after claiming responsibility for the attack, said the suicide bomber was targeting Afghans who were working for the United States as translators or otherwise collaborating with the United States military.
Videos taken after the attack show bodies piled up in a canal near the airport as Afghans search for friends and family. “I saw bodies and limbs flying through the air like a tornado carrying plastic bags,” an Afghan woman who witnessed the attack told Reuters. “That trickle of water that went through that sewer channel turned to blood.”
Taliban soldiers blocked streets in the area, preventing civilians from accessing evacuation operations. “We had a theft, but the situation became very serious and the roads were closed,” said one resident.
A man who identified himself as Milad told AFP news agency he lost documents in the explosion that would allow him to board a flight out of the country with his wife and three children. “I don’t want to go back to the airport anymore. To hell with the United States, the evacuation and the visa process,” he said.
In a statement, the United Nations Security Council said that “the deliberate targeting of civilians and evacuation workers is particularly heinous and should be condemned” and that the perpetrators should be held accountable.
The bombings have increased pressure on Biden, who was criticized at home and abroad after the Taliban’s rapid rise to power. On Thursday, he reiterated that he had made the right decision in announcing the end of the occupation in the country, which he said would prevent the loss of more American lives. The Democrat also pledged to rescue the Americans and Afghan allies left in the country.
The United States, as well as their Western partners, are rushing to complete the withdrawal by next Tuesday (31), the deadline promised by the Americans. The White House said on Friday that 105,000 people had already been evacuated from Kabul and, according to General McKenzie, there are still around 1,000 US citizens in the country.
Other countries have also accelerated the exit process after the attack. Spain has said that its entire diplomatic contingent has already been withdrawn from Afghanistan and is in Dubai. The UK, meanwhile, has also entered the final stages of its bailout, with the UK Ministry of Defense saying it will no longer summon people to Kabul airport. Sweden announced on Friday that it had ended the operation, with 1,100 people evacuated, including embassy employees and their families.