Kabul health officials were quoted as saying 60 civilians were killed in the attacks on Thursday. At least two blasts and gunfire rocked the area, witnesses said. Video shot by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies strewn around a canal on the edge of the airport.
Islamic State (ISIS), an enemy of the Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army”. U.S. officials also blamed the group and vowed retribution.
General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said US commanders were on alert for more attacks by Islamic State, including possible rockets or vehicle-borne bombs targeting the airport. “We’re doing everything we can to be prepared,” he said, adding that some intelligence was being shared with the Taliban and that he believed “some attacks have been thwarted by them.”
US forces are racing to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by an Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden, who says the United States had long ago achieved its original rationale for invading the country in 2001: to root out al Qaeda militants and prevent a repeat of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States.
Video taken in the aftermath of the attack showed corpses in a sewage canal by the airport fence, some being fished out and laid in heaps while wailing civilians searched for loved ones. “I saw bodies and body parts flying in the air like a tornado blowing plastic bags,” said one Afghan witness.
“That little water flowing in the sewage canal had turned into blood.” – DAILY NEWS AND ANALYSIS