Taliban say attack on Kabul airport occurred in area controlled by US forces

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The Taliban condemned the attack on Kabul airport which resulted in at least six deaths and dozens of wounded, 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.”

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He added that the Taliban are “paying close attention to the security and protection of its people.”

Two suicide bombers and gunmen targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport Thursday, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

An AFP photographer reported at least five deaths and dozens of wounded being transported to the Afghan capital's hospital.

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.”

A US official said the complex attack was “definitely believed” to have been carried out by the ISIS group, whose affiliate in Afghanistan grew out of disaffected Taliban members who hold an even more extreme view of Islam.

With The Associated Press

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