The death toll from yesterday’s suicide bombings at the Kabul airport have now risen to 170 people, according to CBS News:
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 27, 2021
Evacuation flights resumed on Friday at Kabul’s airport, less than a day after 13 American service members and scores of Afghans were killed in suicide bombings claimed by the ISIS faction in Afghanistan. There were warnings from military officials that more attacks could target the airport, and that the risk of them was increasing amid the rush to get hundreds of Americans, and as many vulnerable Afghans as possible out of the country.
An Afghan health ministry official told CBS News on Friday morning that the death toll from the double bombing attack had reached at least 170, the vast majority of the victims being Afghans. Of the 13 American service members who were killed, 10 were Marines. The U.S. Navy confirmed on Friday that another one of the Americans killed was a Sailor. It was the deadliest day for U.S. forces in Afghanistan in a decade. At least 18 more U.S. troops were injured in the attack.
Evacuations were underway again on Friday after being derailed by the attack the previous day. And desperate people were defying the threat of new attacks by ISIS, and warnings from the country’s new Taliban rulers, still gathering outside the airport in hopes of an escape flight.
But at the airport’s Abbey Gate, the scene of yesterday’s first and largest blast, there was only a lone Taliban fighter standing among the blood-stained belongings left strewn all over the ground on Friday.
While the U.S. and U.K. were still flying people out on Friday, most European nations had already planned to bring an end to their flights today.
The airport remained a vulnerable target. On Thursday, U.S. Central Command chief General Kenneth McKenzie said intelligence had revealed other, “very real” terrorist threats, including plans for rocket attacks, and even larger suicide car or truck bombings.
Wallace, the U.K. defense minister, said the terror threat in Kabul was “obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving,” and he said there was only a “matter of hours” left for Britain to get people out of the Afghan capital on evacuation flights.
“The narrative is always going to be, as we leave, certain groups such as ISIS will want to stake a claim that they have driven out the U.S. or the UK,” Wallace said.
I think it says loads about how desperate our Afghan allies are to get away from the Taliban, that they would still be lined up today, en masse, outside the airport gate knowing how many were killed yesterday in the suicide bombings and that it could happen again. This is how dangerous a situation Biden has created in the country.