Explosion Outside of Kabul Airport Results in Casualties, Pentagon Confirms


UPDATE [08/26/21, 1:38 p.m. EST]:

UPDATE [08/26/21, 11:01 a.m. EST]:

The Pentagon spokesperson said, “We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US [and] civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.”

UPDATE [08/26/21, 10:59 a.m. EST]:

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President Joe Biden is in the Situation Room, along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken, CNN reports, citing a White House official. The president has been briefed on the Afghanistan situation.

UPDATE [08/26/21, 10:38 a.m. EST]:

The Pentagon spokesperson said, “We can confirm that the explosion near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport has resulted in an unknown number of casualties. We will continue to update.”

An explosion outside of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, has been reported.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby wrote in a tweet on Thursday, “We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport.”

“Casualties are unclear at this time,” he continued. “We will provide additional details when we can.”

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan warned of “security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport” on Wednesday and urged “U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.”

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It added, “U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.”

As The New York Times reported on Thursday, “A senior U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity about confidential assessments, confirmed that the United States was tracking a ‘specific’ and ‘credible’ threat at the airport from the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, which has carried out dozens of attacks in recent years, many targeting ethnic minorities and other civilians.”

This comes amid efforts to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies, and ahead of the August 31 withdrawal deadline. There is an estimated 1,500 Americans in Afghanistan still.

A White House official said, “From August 25 at 3:00 AM EDT to August 26 at 3:00 AM EDT, a total of approximately 13,400 people were evacuated from Afghanistan,” adding, “Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 95,700 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 101,300 people,” per a White House pool report early Thursday.

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