At least 12 American soldiers were killed in explosions at the Kabul airport, and at least 15 were injured, the head of the US Central Command Kenneth Mackenzie said during a briefing, CNN reports.
“It’s a tough day today,” McKenzie said. He added that the explosions were organized by two suicide bombers, after which unidentified shooters opened fire.
“We are still focused on protecting our forces and the evacuees, and the evacuation continues. For the sake of clarity, although we are saddened by the deaths of the Americans and Afghans, we will continue to carry out this task. Our mission is to evacuate US citizens as well as third-country nationals, special immigrant visa holders, US Embassy staff and Afghans at risk. Despite the attacks, we will continue with the mission, ”Mackenzie said.
According to him, 5,000 people are currently awaiting evacuation. Since August 14, the United States and its allies have evacuated more than 140,000 civilians. The US administration estimates that no more than 1,000 Americans remain in Afghanistan awaiting evacuation.
At the same time, the US expects the attacks to continue. “We are doing everything possible to prevent them,” the general said. In total, as a result of today’s attacks, more than 60 people were killed, at least 140 were injured, the TV channel writes, citing data from Afghan doctors.
Mackenzie did not blame the Taliban (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) for allowing the attack on Kabul airport. “Now there is nothing that would convince me that they allowed this to happen … They have practical reasons to want us to leave by August 31, they want to establish control over the airport. We also want to get out of there by this time. So we have a common goal. As long as we stick to a common goal, it is useful to work with them. They helped us solve some of the security problems, ”he said.
According to CNN, US President Joe Biden, who has yet to comment on the bombings and deaths of American soldiers, will release a statement later today.
Several explosions near the Kabul airport occurred on 26 August. IS (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) is most likely behind the attack, the channel continues. According to several media reports, the organization has already claimed responsibility for the incident. At the same time, the Taliban themselves condemned the attacks.
The evacuation of foreign citizens from Afghanistan, as well as local residents wishing to leave, has continued since August 15, when the Taliban captured most of the country and the Afghan capital Kabul. The only place through which you can leave the country is the Kabul airport. It is guarded by American soldiers who are to leave Afghanistan by August 31, in accordance with agreements with the Taliban.