Multiple bomb blasts and one attack by a gunman in Kabul on Thursday killed at least numerous Afghans and 13 US service personnel and plunged the evacuation of western forces from Afghanistan into a deeper crisis.
The death toll from Kabul Airport explosions has risen to 90 with more than 150 others wounded, TOLO News reported as the ISIS-K (the Islamic State offshoot) claimed responsibility for the attack. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant- Khorasan Province suicide bombers attacked crowds of people gathered Thursday outside Hamid Karzai International airport hoping to flee Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.
The vicious attack on the people of afghan was condemned worldwide with President Biden vowing to complete the evacuation of Americans and their allies from Afghanistan.
‘We will not forgive, we will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,’ Biden said in remarks at the White House. He further declined to extend his 31 August deadline for the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan but promised to evacuate any American citizens who want to leave.
Biden’s sentiments were echoed by leaders alike. The Ministry of External Affairs in India while extending its condolences urged all the countries to stand united in the fight against terrorism. “We extend our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the injured. Today’s attacks reinforce the need for the world to stand unitedly against terrorism and all those who provide sanctuaries to terrorists,” MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi tweeted.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also condemned the attack noting that “This incident underscores the volatility of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, but also strengthens our resolve as we continue to deliver urgent assistance across the country in support of the Afghan people,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. He said that “as far as we know at this moment” there are no casualties among UN staff.
Among the leaders expressing anguish over the incident was also Afghan politician and Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, Dr. Abdullah Abdullah who on Thursday strongly condemned the terrorist attack at Kabul airport.
‘I strongly condemn the terrorist attack at Kabul Airport which killed and wounded a large number of them civilians. My thought and prayers are with the victims and their families at this difficult time,’ the politician tweeted.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the attackers targeting people hoping to leave Kabul via the airport and pledged to help people seeking to leave Afghanistan even after August 31.
Vice President Kamala Harris called the 13 American service members killed in Afghanistan “heroes” who died saving countless lives, in a statement released on Thursday night. “Doug and I grieve for the Americans we lost, we pray for the Americans injured in the attack, and our hearts go out to their loved ones. We also grieve for the Afghan civilians killed and injured,” Harris wrote in the statement which was released shortly after she arrived in Hawaii for an event with US troops.
“We are facing an extremely tense situation,” French President Emmanuel Macron told a joint news conference with Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin, calling for caution. He said France’s ambassador in Afghanistan would not remain in the country for security reasons, adding French special forces were at the airport.