Afghanistan: Huge Explosion And Gunshots At Kabul Airport Amid Evacuation Chaos
A huge explosion and gunshots have been reported at Kabul airport as residents continue to try and flee the country.
The news comes from two US officials after the US, the UK and Australia issued alerts to their citizens this morning, August 26, warning of a potential attack in Afghanistan as evacuation efforts continue following the takeover of the Taliban.
One of the US officials, cited by CNN, said there are injuries among Afghans, but no information regarding US causalities has yet been released.
Hear more about the situation below:
Dan Sabbagh, The Guardian’s defence and security editor, tweeted to say, ‘British defence sources believe there are no military casualties following the explosion near the Baron hotel.’
He added: ‘Impact on civilians not yet clear.’
There remains to be few details regarding what took place when the explosion went off, though the Pentagon has confirmed the blast hit the Abbey gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, The Washington Examiner reports.
A tweet posted by Pentagon press secretary John Kirby reads: ‘We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can.’
Earlier today, August 26, people gathered outside the airport in the hopes of catching a flight out of Afghanistan were advised to leave the area as concerns grew of violence from an ISIS affiliate group.
Speaking to LBC this morning, per The Guardian, armed forces minister James Heappey said there was ‘very credible reporting’ of an ‘imminent’ and ‘severe’ terror attack at the airport.
I don’t think everybody should be surprised by this, Daesh, or Islamic State, are guilty of all sorts of evil.
But the opportunism of wanting to target a major international humanitarian mission is just utterly deplorable but sadly true to form for an organisation as barbarous as Daesh.
Thousands have been trying to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan over the past week, many through Kabul’s airport.
The blast heard today is reported as having been ‘large’ in size, with Nus Ghani, the Tory MP for Wealden, tweeting to say he was speaking to an Afghan resident when the explosion went off.
Explosion at Kabul airport. I was on the phone to an Afghan outside the airport when he heard the explosion. Praying that he gets away safely and we get his family safe passage out of this nightmare.
A White House official has said President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation.
The Ministry of Defence has also tweeted a statement since the explosion: ‘We are working urgently to establish what has happened in Kabul and its impact on the ongoing evacuation effort. Our primary concern remains the safety of our personnel, British citizens and the citizens of Afghanistan. We are in close contact with our US and other NATO allies at an operational level on the immediate response to this incident.’
If you’d like to help those who’ve been affected by the recent devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan, you can make a donation to the UN Refugee Agency United Kingdom here
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