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Explosions outside Kabul airport kill at least 12 U.S. service members

One of the explosions was carried out by a suicide bomber outside a gate at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

Published: August 26, 2021 9:55am

Updated: August 26, 2021 9:15pm

A terror attack Thursday outside the Kabul airport in Afghanistan that included two explosions and gunfire killed at least 12 U.S. service members.

The American service members killed included four Marines and a Navy corpsman.

The Pentagon said 52 service members were injured and over a dozen Afghans also were injured.

One of the explosions was carried out by a suicide bomber outside the Abbey gate at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul. The second was a detonated car bomb about 200 yards away, outside of the Baron hotel, which was a staging area for evacuations from the airport. 

A U.S. official said the attack was "definitely believed" to have been carried out by the Islamic State group, whose affiliate in Afghanistan grew out of disaffected members of the Taliban, now in control of Afghanistan, who hold an even more extreme view of Islam.

ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby early Thursday in a tweet confirmed the explosions, as the United States tries to evacuate the last of the roughly 1,000 Americans still in Afghanistan before a deadline Tuesday. 

The Taliban was providing the outer ring of security around the airport.

Reports that U.S. officials provided Taliban with names of Americans and Afghan allies to evacuate raised question at home about sharing such information with the group.

The evacuations follow the Taliban's recent and swift takeover the country, resulting in a chaotic effort to get Americans and Afghan allies out of the country.

U.S. and allied officials warned roughly 12 hours before the explosion that a lethal attack was imminent and to avoid the airport. 

Even as the area was hit, evacuation flights continued to take off from the airport, the wire service also report.

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