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12 US servicemen killed in Kabul airport blasts, officials say

Reuters/Kabul
Filed on August 26, 2021
A US soldier patrols next a military vehicle as he arrives at the site of a suicide car bomb attack near the international airport in Kabul. Photo: AFP

US to shift focus to getting last troops out


Suicide bombers struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport with at least two explosions on Thursday, causing a bloodbath among civilians and U.S. troops, and bringing a catastrophic halt to the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans desperate to flee.

Two U.S. officials put the U.S. death toll at 12 service members killed, making it one of the deadliest incidents for American troops of the entire 20-year war.

There was no complete toll of Afghan civilians but video images uploaded by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies of people killed in packed crowds outside the airport.

Several Western countries said the airlift of civilians was now effectively over, with the United States having sealed the gates of the airport leaving no way out for tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the West through two decades of war.

A Taliban official said at least 13 people including children had been killed in the attack and 52 were wounded, though it was clear from video footage that those figures were far from complete. One surgical hospital run by an Italian charity said it alone was treating more than 60 wounded.

The explosions took place amid the crowds outside the airport who have been massing for days in hope of escaping in an airlift which the United States says will end by Tuesday, following the swift capture of the country by the Taliban.





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