ATTACK – A double explosion took place this Thursday at Kabul airport, near an entrance, then at a hotel. The attack was claimed by Islamic State, which US authorities are threatening with retaliation.
FS with AFP –
An attack described as “complex“struck Kabul Thursday at the end of the day, a few hours after warning messages from the American authorities who feared an attack. Many victims are to be deplored. According to a new report on Friday, at least 85 people died in the attack and 160 injured.
A first explosion occurred near Abbey’s Gate – one of the main accesses to the airport, according to a US military source. The information was confirmed by several sources on the ground, including the French ambassador in Afghanistan. A second explosion then occurred, probably at the level of the Baron hotel, where the British delegation in Afghanistan is located, not far from the same access door to the airport compound.
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Afghanistan in the hands of the Taliban
“To our relatives: no French soldier, policeman or diplomat had been hired today at Abbey Gate”, David Martinon said on Twitter. In the process, French President Emmanuel Macron announced that the ambassador will soon be repatriated, “taking into account security issues”, to operate from Paris within a few days.
This double suicide bombing was claimed by the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group. A little later in the evening, around midnight, a third explosion was heard in the city. The causes of the explosion were still unknown.
Several American servicemen killed or injured
During a press conference, the American General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the American central command in charge of Afghanistan, gave the first elements of explanation concerning this double explosion. “Two ISIS jihadists blew themselves up at Abbey Gate, followed by armed ISIS jihadists who fired on civilians and soldiers.”, he clarified.
The Taliban regime has recorded up to 20 dead and 52 injured. But other sources evoke a much heavier toll. A senior health official in the pre-Taliban government speaks of at least 60 dead and 140 injured. For his part, General Kenneth McKenzie spoke of“a dark day”, with 13 American soldiers killed in this attack and 18 injured. According to a
new assessment provided Friday to AFP by two officials of the former government overthrown in mid-August by the Taliban, at least 85 people were killed and more than 160 injured.
Taliban condemn attack in area “under US surveillance”
The Taliban condemned the attack while returning the responsibility for the surveillance of the airport to the Americans. “The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombings targeting civilians at the airport”, Zabihullah Mujahid posted on Twitter. “The explosion took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security.”
A sector on alert
Overnight, the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom simultaneously issued very specific and almost identical warnings of threats to “terrorist attack“in the airport area, as the deadline for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan approaches, August 31.
The people “currently at the Abbey, East and North entrances should leave immediately“Washington said, citing”security threats “, after President Joe Biden had already mentioned Tuesday the possibility of an attack by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS), rival of the Taliban in Afghanistan in recent years.
Despite the very volatile situation, France still hopes to evacuate “several hundred” people from Afghanistan, said Emmanuel Macron, adding that Paris was doing everything to get there, but without guarantee due to the security situation “extremely tense” at Kabul airport. For twelve days, and the capture of Kabul by the Taliban, thousands of Afghans have gone to the airport in the hope of escaping the new masters of the country. A gigantic airlift has been in place since August 14, to evacuate Western nationals as well as their Afghan allies that the arrival of the Taliban puts the most in danger.
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