The bombings came just hours after defense officials warned about an increased terrorist threat from the Islamic State’s branch in Afghanistan.
Multiple U.S. troops were killed and others wounded when two explosions shook the area outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in rapid succession this morning, where the United States and NATO allies had been evacuating thousands of people from the city, two U.S. officials told POLITICO.
“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties,” tweeted Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, referring to the entrance to the airport, where four sources tell POLITICO that U.S. personnel until recently welcomed American citizens to board evacuation flights.
Kirby also confirmed a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, roughly 300 meters from the site of the first detonation. British troops had been using the hotel as a base for evacuating UK personnel.
An ISIS militant wearing a suicide vest was responsible for the first bombing, two U.S. officials and a person familiar with the situation told POLITICO, detonating around 5 p.m. local time just outside Abbey gate. Three sources said the U.S. troops returned fire soon after.
NATO troops have been ordered to leave the airport gates immediately, two people said.
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