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At least 95 Afghans killed in Kabul airport bombings, toll may be higher: Official

Published: Updated:

An official says at least 95 Afghans were killed in Thursday’s suicide bombings outside Kabul’s international airport.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

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The official said the actual death toll is even higher because others were involved in evacuating bodies.

Afghan and US officials earlier said the bombings killed at least 60 Afghans and 13 US troops, in the deadliest day for US forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.

Evacuation flights from Afghanistan resumed with new urgency on Friday, a day after two suicide bombings targeted the thousands of desperate people fleeing the Taliban takeover.

The US says further attempted attacks are expected ahead of the Tuesday deadline for foreign troops to leave, ending America’s longest war.

Kabul residents said several flights took off Friday morning, while the anxious crowd outside the airport was as large as ever. In one location, dozens of Taliban members with heavy weapons about 500 meters from the airport were preventing anyone from venturing forward.

Volunteers and medical staff bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (AFP)
Volunteers and medical staff bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (AFP)

In an emotional speech, President Joe Biden blamed ISIS’s Afghanistan affiliate, far more radical than the Taliban militants who seized power less than two weeks ago.

“We will rescue the Americans; we will get our Afghan allies out, and our mission will go on,” Biden said. But despite intense pressure to extend Tuesday’s deadline, he has cited the threat of terrorist attacks as a reason to keep to his plan.

The Taliban, back in control of Afghanistan two decades after they were ousted in a US-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks, insist on the deadline. The Trump administration in February 2020 struck an agreement with the Taliban that called for it to halt attacks on Americans in exchange for the removal of all US troops and contractors by May; Biden announced in April he would have them out by September

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