Two suicide attacks outside Kabul airport has left at least 60 Afghans dead including U.S. marines and children, hours after intelligence officials issued an ISIS terror attack warning, according to latest reports. At least four US marines are reported to have been killed in the blasts. The first explosion took place outside one of the airport's entrance gates.
The exact number killed, or their branch of service, had not been confirmed by the Pentagon. Initial reports says the numbers might exceed 100, with 65 already confirmed dead. Prior to Thursday, the last U.S. military combat death in Afghanistan occurred in February 2020.
Kabul Under Attack
The first explosion occurred outside one of the Hamid Karzai International Airport's entrance gates when someone detonated a suicide vest. Harrowing footage from the blast site show Afghans soaked in blood as they were being removed from the scene on wheelchairs. One witness reported that a baby was among those killed.
The site of the blast is reportedly very close to The Baron Hotel, at the Abbey Gate of Kabul airport, where westerners were staying before their evacuation flights. An official told Reuters that the nationalities of the victims weren't known.
The Pentagon confirmed that a second explosion has also been heard but the exact location isn't known. It's also not known if that too was a suicide bombing attack. An Afghan man, who was nearby, told Fox News that some people appeared to be missing body parts in the blast. Another man said that a young girl died in his arms.
On High Alert
The attack came just hours after intelligence officials issued a warning that ISIS was plotting something against the crowd of Western citizens and allies trying to leave Afghanistan. The Kabul airport was on high alert following this as thousands have gathered for more than a week now trying to get on one of the evacuation planes out of Afghanistan after Biden's decision to withdraw troops from the region.
As many as 1,500 Americans remain stranded in Afghanistan with increasingly bleak options. The U.S. Embassy in Kabul described the explosion as "large" and said there were reports of gunfire, urging Americans to avoid travel to the airport and its gates.
Biden was reportedly in a security meeting about the Afghanistan situation when the explosion occurred. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has also been updated on the situation at the airport, a spokesperson said.
"We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said.
(This is a developing story)