Another attack at Kabul airport likely in 24-36 hours: US
After Thursday's dastardly attack at the Kabul airport, the United States has warned of another "specific and credible threat" at the Hamid Karzai International Airport. US President Joe Biden also said that another terror attack is "highly likely" in the next 24-36 hours as evacuations wrap up before the August 31 deadline. Thursday's blast, claimed by the Islamic State-Khorasan (ISKP), had killed 170 people.
US asks its citizens to leave Kabul airport immediately
The US State Department has urged all Americans near the Kabul airport to leave the area immediately, citing a "specific, credible threat." The agency asked Americans to avoid the airport and all its gates, particularly the South (Airport Circle) gate. It also warned Americans to avoid the new Ministry of the Interior, and the gate near the Panjshir Petrol station northwest of the airport.
Attack highly likely in next 24-36 hours: Biden
Citing reports from US commanders, President Biden said Saturday that an attack at the airport was highly likely in the next 24-36 hours. The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous and the risk of a terror threat remains high, he said. He further added that he had directed US authorities to ensure all protection to Americans awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan.
Airport blast kills 170 including 13 US troops
Thursday's suicide bombings at the Kabul airport killed 170 people, including 13 US troops. The death toll was heavy since crowds have been gathering at the airport to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban's takeover. The ISKP said it had targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army." Eyewitnesses recalled horrific scenes of body parts flying and a sewage canal nearby turning red with blood.
America's retaliatory strike eliminates 2 ISKP members
The US retaliated with a drone strike, which it said killed two "high-level" ISKP members in eastern Afghanistan. Biden said, "This strike was not the last. We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay. Whenever anyone seeks to harm the United States or attack our troops, we will respond. That will never be in doubt."
Taliban increasing forces at airport
Separately, the Taliban has heightened its presence around the Kabul airport in a bid to prevent crowding after Thursday's attack. The airport has been sealed off to Afghans who have desperately been looking for a way out of the country.
What's happening in Afghanistan?
The Taliban overthrew the Afghanistan government on August 15 after the US withdrew its troops from the country to end its two-decade-long 'War on Terror'. Fearing the Taliban's regime, foreign nationals and Afghans have been trying to flee. The US is currently managing the Kabul airport until its complete withdrawal on August 31. It is feared evacuations will not be possible post the deadline.