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Three U.S. Marines injured as explosions close to Kabul airport lead to a number of casualties

Australian residents and visa holders put together to board the Royal Australian Air Power C-17A Globemaster III plane, as Australian Military infantry personnel present safety and help with cargo, at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 22, 2021.

SGT Glen McCarthy | Australia’s Division of Protection | through Reuters

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Thursday confirmed two explosions close to Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, which have resulted in various U.S. and civilian casualties.

An explosion on the airport’s Abbey Gate “was the results of a posh assault that resulted in various U.S. and civilian casualties,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned. A minimum of one different explosion occurred close to the Baron Lodge not removed from the Abbey Gate, Kirby mentioned.

Three U.S. Marines have been among the many injured on the Abbey Gate, NBC Information reported, citing American navy officers.

The Pentagon has delayed a press briefing that was initially scheduled for 10:30 a.m. ET.

About 5,400 U.S. servicemembers are helping with evacuation efforts in Kabul. The British have about 1,000 troops helping with the evacuation efforts. The U.Okay. Ministry of Protection mentioned there have been no reported casualties amongst its authorities and navy personnel in Kabul after the assault.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been briefed on the state of affairs.

“The president met along with his nationwide safety crew Thursday morning, together with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin, 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 mentioned in an announcement.

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

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has additionally been up to date on the state of affairs on the airport, a spokesperson mentioned.

A gathering slated for 11:30 p.m. ET between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on the White Home has additionally been delayed.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul described the explosion as “massive” and mentioned there have been studies of gunfire, urging People to keep away from journey to the airport and its gates.

The embassy had beforehand issued a safety alert 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 mentioned.

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

About 101,300 individuals have been evacuated because the finish of July, together with about 4,500 U.S. residents and their households.

Warning: Graphic picture. Volunteers and medical employees unload our bodies from a pickup truck outdoors a hospital after two highly effective explosions, which killed not less than six individuals, outdoors the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021.

Wakil Kohsar | AFP | Getty Pictures

Blinken mentioned Wednesday that there could also be as many as 1,500 People in Afghanistan left to evacuate, a calculation he defined was “tough to pin down with absolute precision at any given second.”

The nation’s high diplomat added that the U.S. presently is “aggressively reaching out” to about 1,000 contacts “a number of instances a day, via a number of channels of communication” to find out in the event that they nonetheless wish to depart and to provide them directions on how to take action.

Blinken added the precise quantity is also decrease.

“The U.S. authorities doesn’t monitor People’ actions once they journey all over the world,” Blinken mentioned in his first press briefing because the collapse of the Afghan authorities to the Taliban greater than per week in the past.

“There could possibly be different People in Afghanistan who by no means enrolled with the embassy, who ignored public evacuation notices and haven’t but recognized themselves.”

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

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

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

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

The Taliban mentioned earlier Tuesday that the group will not enable Afghan nationals to depart the nation on evacuation flights nor will they settle for an extension of the withdrawal deadline past the top of the month.

“We’re not in favor of permitting Afghans to depart,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid advised 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 depart and we won’t lengthen the deadline,” he mentioned. Evacuations carried out by overseas forces after Aug. 31 can be a “violation” of a Biden administration promise to finish the U.S. navy’s mission within the nation, Mujahid mentioned.

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

This story is creating. Please verify again for updates.

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