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13 U.S. service members killed, 18 wounded in assault close to Kabul airport, Pentagon says

WASHINGTON — A thirteenth U.S. service member has died from his wounds and the variety of injured has risen to 18 after a suicide bomber detonated an explosive close to Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday.

The injured service members are being evacuated from Afghanistan on specifically outfitted C-17 plane with surgical models, a spokesperson for U.S. Central Command stated Thursday night.

U.S. Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, stated in a briefing earlier Thursday that quite a few Afghan civilians had been additionally killed, however he was not in a position to present a exact quantity.

The overall, who oversees the U.S. army’s operations within the area, stated that the Pentagon was working to find out attribution for the assault however added that the present evaluation is that the bomber is affiliated with ISIS.

ISIS later claimed accountability for the assault.

McKenzie stated that the U.S. continues to be monitoring “extraordinarily lively threats” to the airport that vary from suicide bombers to rocket assaults. McKenzie stated that regardless of the assault, the U.S. emergency evacuation mission continues.

Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin expressed his condolences in a press release Thursday and condemned the assault that “took their lives on the very second these troops had been attempting to save lots of the lives of others.”

“We won’t be dissuaded from the duty at hand. To do something much less — particularly now — would dishonor the aim and sacrifice these women and men have rendered our nation and the folks of Afghanistan,” Austin added.

About 5,400 U.S. service members are helping with evacuation efforts in Kabul. The British have about 1,000 troops helping with the evacuation. Britain’s Ministry of Protection stated there have been no reported casualties amongst its authorities and army personnel in Kabul after the assault.

President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the assault Thursday night.

“The president met together with his nationwide safety workforce Thursday morning, together with Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Workers U.S. Military Gen. Mark Milley in addition to commanders on the bottom in Kabul,” the White Home stated in a press release.

“He’ll proceed to be briefed on updates on the evolving scenario all through the day,” the assertion added.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul had issued a safety alert Wednesday urging People to keep away from the airport. “U.S. residents who’re on the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now ought to depart instantly,” the alert stated.

The embassy once more informed People after the assault Thursday to not journey to the airport and to keep away from its gates.

Within the final 24 hours, Western forces evacuated 13,400 folks out of Kabul on 91 army cargo plane flights. For the reason that mass evacuations started Aug. 14, roughly 95,700 folks have been airlifted out of Afghanistan.

About 101,300 folks have been evacuated because the finish of July, together with about 5,000 U.S. residents and their households.

Warning: Graphic picture. Volunteers and medical employees unload our bodies from a pickup truck exterior a hospital after two highly effective explosions, which killed at the least six folks, exterior the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021.

Wakil Kohsar | AFP | Getty Photographs

A State Division spokesperson stated Thursday that about 500 of the 1,500 People believed to be nonetheless in Afghanistan have been evacuated.

“We are actually involved with the roughly 1,000 People we imagine stay in Afghanistan. And, the overwhelming majority — over two-thirds — knowledgeable us that they had been taking steps to go away,” the spokesperson added.

Biden on Tuesday reiterated to leaders of the G-7, NATO, United Nations and European Union that the USA will withdraw its army from Afghanistan by the tip of the month.

The president warned that staying longer in Afghanistan carries critical dangers for overseas troops and civilians. Biden stated ISIS-Ok, an Afghanistan-based affiliate of the fear group, presents a rising menace to the airport.

“Daily we’re on the bottom is one other day we all know that ISIS-Ok is in search of to focus on the airport and assault each U.S. and allied forces and harmless civilians,” he stated.

The Taliban stated earlier Tuesday that the group will not permit Afghan nationals to go away the nation on evacuation flights nor will they settle for an extension of the withdrawal deadline past the tip of the month.

“We’re not in favor of permitting Afghans to go away,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid informed reporters throughout a information convention Tuesday.

“They [the Americans] have the chance, they’ve all of the sources, they will take all of the those who belong to them, however we aren’t going to permit Afghans to go away and we won’t prolong the deadline,” he stated. Evacuations carried out by overseas forces after Aug. 31 can be a “violation” of a Biden administration promise to finish the U.S. army’s mission within the nation, Mujahid stated.

CNBC’s Spencer Kimball contributed to this report from New York.

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