Graphic footage of Kabul airport blast aftermath shows dozens dead and wounded
At least five deaths and more than a dozen wounded were reported on Thursday after two blasts occurred outside of Kabul airport, an AFP photographer at the Afghan capital's hospital said.
“There were many bodies and injured - at least five dead,” the photographer said at the emergency hospital.
Graphic footage of the bloody aftermath of the blast at the airport flooded social media platforms and local media outlets shared videos and pictures of the wounded being transported to emergency care as ambulances rushed to keep up with the flow of the injured.
An emergency hospital in Kabul said it received at least 60 wounded from the airport blast.
US Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said: “We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US and civilian casualties,” Kirby wrote on Twitter.
“We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate,” he added.
The Baron Hotel, about 200 meters from the Abbey Gate, had been used by some western nations as a staging point for evacuations since the airlift began on August 14.
The US State Department said there were also reports of gunfire: “US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates. Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately.”
Thousands of people have massed over the past 12 days near the Abbey Gate and other entrances to the Hamid Karzai International Airport, hoping to be evacuated after the Taliban took control of the country.
US officials say the Taliban has cooperated with the evacuation efforts.
But US and allied officials said in the past day that they had intelligence that suicide bombers tied to the Afghan arm of the ISIS group – the ISIS-Khorasan (IS-K) – were threatening to attack the airport ahead of Washington's August 31 deadline to finalize the evacuation.
The group is known to be at odds with the Taliban.
With the Associated Press