ISIS-K claims responsibility for deadly Kabul airport suicide attack

The deadly explosions killed 13 American service members and scores of Afghans.
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Kabul, Afghanistan
Hospital victims of the terror attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan. (Aug. 26. 2021)
(MARCUS YAM/LOS ANGELES TIMES)

An Islamic State affiliate claimed responsibility for Thursday's attacks outside the international airport in Kabul, according to reports.  

Suicide bombers on Aug. 26 set off explosions that killed 13 service members, including Marines and a Navy medic, and scores of Afghans. The explosions took place at the airport's Abbey Gate, and near the Baron Hotel, where people were gathered as part of the ongoing evacuation efforts. Additionally, 18 service members were wounded on Thursday, the Pentagon said.

The ISIS-K organization claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to the SITE intelligence analysis group. Following the deadly bombings, leaders of the ISIS-K circulated a propaganda photograph depicting an attacker wearing an explosive belt and holding a rifle, and posing in front of an ISIS flag.

The leaders of ISIS-K said in a statement that the group targeted American troops and Afghans who worked with them, according to reports of the translated statement. The group claimed that the attacks were the work of suicide bombers, and said that members of the Taliban were hurt in the explosions.

The name "ISIS-K" stands for the Islamic State-Khorasan, referencing a province in Afghanistan. The group and the Taliban are competitors, and view one another as enemies, experts have said.