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At least 72 killed in airport attack, 158 wounded: US, Afghan officials

Published: Updated:

Estimates of the casualties from the two blasts outside of Kabul airport on Thursday rose to at least 72 people killed and another 158 wounded, according to US and Afghan officials.

Two suicide bombers targeted the crowds massing near the Kabul airport, as thousands of Afghans flocked to the airport in an attempt to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

ISIS claimed responsibility for one of the bombings.

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US Central Command General Kenneth McKenzie said 12 US servicemen died due to the attacks and 15 others were injured.

While an Afghan official told The Associated Press at least 60 Afghans were killed and another 143 were wounded in the attack outside Kabul airport.

Taliban response

The Taliban condemned the attack on Kabul airport, saying it occurred in an area controlled by US forces.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said his group “strongly condemns the attack on civilians at Kabul airport, which took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security.”

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, a member of the Taliban's cultural commission, told Turkey's Haberturk TV: “As soon as the airport situation is figured out and the foreign forces leave, we will not have such attacks anymore. It is because of the presence of foreign forces that such attacks take place.”

Third blast

A third blast was heard in the Afghan capital Kabul hours after the twin bombings, according to Reuters witnesses and AFP staff.

Mujahid said early Friday the blast was due to US forces conducting controlled detonations to destroy their equipment.

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Warning: Graphic footage of Kabul airport blast aftermath, five dead, dozens wounded