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Terror attack rocks Kabul: 13 U.S. troops, dozens of Afghan civilians killed
How do you feel about the terror attacks in Kabul amid the Afghanistan evacuation?
By Eric Revell, Countable News
What’s the story?
- A suicide bombing occurred at the Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) amid the ongoing evacuation from Kabul, Afghanistan, and another occurred at a nearby hotel. The latest reports are that 13 U.S. servicemembers were killed in the attacks and 18 wounded, per DefenseOne, the Fox News Pentagon team, and Central Command.
- The fallen are the first Americans to be killed in Afghanistan since February 2020. The attacks make August 26th the deadliest day for the U.S. military in Afghanistan in a decade and the third deadliest since the war began after the September 11th terror attacks in 2001.
- Terrorists conducted a “complex attack” with an explosion at a crowded entry gate to the Kabul airport, which was then followed by a firefight. Initial reports indicated a second bombing occurred at the nearby Baron Hotel, but the Pentagon on Friday confirmed that the airport bombing was the only attack against U.S. and coalition personnel.
- A suicide bomber struck outside the airport’s Abbey Gate, where U.S. Marines, Soldiers, and Australians were among the security forces at that gate and thousands of Afghans were outside the airport’s gate hoping for the opportunity to leave the country. A firefight is said to have occurred after the explosion.
- According to reports from the military branches that suffered casualties, 11 Marines, one Army Soldier, and one Navy corpsman (medic) were killed in the attack. Central Command released a statement that increased the number of wounded Americans to 18, all of whom are being evacuated on transport aircraft with surgical units on board.
- Previously, General Frank McKenzie of U.S. Central Command confirmed in an early afternoon news conference that 12 American servicemembers were killed and at least 15 were wounded in the attacks. At that time, the Associated Press and the Fox News Pentagon team reported that the 12 U.S. troops killed included 11 Marines and a Navy corpsman (medic). More information about the fallen Americans will be publicly available after next of kin notifications occur.
- At least 96 Afghans are reported to have been killed and at least 150 wounded, per local health authorities. An Afghan official told ABC News anonymously that they have estimated that at least 170 Afghans were killed and 200 wounded, with the identities of 132 people killed still unknown at this stage.
- The U.S. troops killed are the first Americans to be killed in Afghanistan since February 2020, when two soldiers were killed in combat. Thursday's terrorist attacks make August 26th the third deadliest day for American personnel since the war in Afghanistan began after 9/11 in 2001, surpassed only by the 31 Americans killed in the downing of a Chinook helicopter callsign "Extortion 17" in 2011 and the 16 killed in 2005 when a Chinook was shot down during Operation Red Wings (which was chronicled in the book and film Lone Survivor).
Terror Threats Ongoing
- The terror threat in Afghanistan has been elevated following the Taliban’s takeover, particularly from a terror group known as ISIS-Khorasan (ISIS-K or ISK), which views the Taliban as a rival. ISIS claimed credit for the suicide bombings at the airport and hotel.
- On Wednesday, the State Dept. sent an urgent security alert to American citizens who were outside the airport’s gates to leave immediately due to a terror threat, which was echoed by Australian and British authorities.
- Other terror groups active in the country include the Haqqani Network, which is part of the Taliban, and al Qaeda, which the Taliban has never disavowed and harbored in the past. The Taliban’s takeover has resulted in thousands of Taliban, al Qaeda, and ISIS prisoners being released from Afghan prisons in recent weeks.
- The Pentagon indicated that the threat of ISIS terrorists launching another attack will remain while the evacuation continues.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla via DVIDSHUB / Public Domain)
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