Evacuations resume in Kabul after deadly attacks that killed 100-plus including 13 U.S. troops
Thursday was the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.
Evacuations resumed Friday in Afghanistan, one day after two suicide bombings outside the international airport in the capital city of Kabul killed 13 U.S. service members and roughly Afghans waiting and hoping for a flight out of the country.
The deadly terror attack Thursday was the worst of the chaos and violence at the airport since the Taliban, with unexpected swiftness, took control of the country roughly two weeks ago, sending Americans and their Afghan allies fleeing.
The bombings – a suicide bomb near an airport gate and a car bomb outside of a nearby hotel – killed at least 95 Afghans and the 13 American service members, including four Marines and a Navy corpsman, U.S. officials said.
Thursday was the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since August 2011, according to the Associated Press.
The U.S. says over 100,000 people have so far been evacuated from Kabul, with roughly 1,000 Americans and tens of thousands more Afghans still awaiting departure.
The White House said Friday morning that in the past 24 hours 8,500 evacuees had been flown out of Kabul aboard U.S. military aircraft, and about 4,000 people on coalition flights – roughly the same numbers as before the attacks, the wire service also reports.
The crowds of thousands that have waited outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport since the Aug. 15 takeover in hopes of being evacuated returned after the bombings, the wire service also reports.
The U.S. and allies are rushing to withdrawal all troops from Afghanistan by the Aug. 31 deadline agreed upon with the Taliban.
Afghan officials warned Thursday's death toll could rise, with morgues stretched to capacity and the possibility that relatives are taking bodies away from the scene, the wire service also reports.
President Biden in a national TV address to Americans in the aftermath of the bombings blamed the Islamic State group's Afghanistan affiliate.
"We will rescue the Americans; we will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on," said Biden, who also vowed to hunt down those responsible.
However, officials have warned about the possibility of more attacks, after the U.S. and U.K. each warned hours before Thursday's explosions that a terror attack appeared imminent.
The Taliban took control of Afghanistan two decades after a U.S.-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by al-Qaida extremists being harbored in the country. Many Afghans fear they will reimpose their authoritarian, repressive rule.