UNITED STATES—The Pentagon confirmed a suicide bomber and gunfire by ISIS fighters killed 12 U.S. troops and 15 were injured along with an undisclosed number of Afghan civilians in an attack outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday, August 26.
According to General Kenneth McKenzie, Commander of the U.S. Central Command in the U.S. Marine Corps, the first attack, referred to as the “Complex Attack,” involved an explosion at the Abbey Gate of the Airport. The second explosion was near the Baron Motel.
Two security alerts were sent by the U.S. Embassy in Kabul prior to the attacks. Reports indicate that the U.S. and its allies in the U.K. and Australia warned of the possibility of a terror attack as the airport swarmed with people attempting to flee the country.
“U.S. citizens at Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate should leave immediately,” the first alert stated.
On Wednesday, August 25, the following alert was sent out discouraging travel to the airport.
“Because of security threats outside the gates of Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so.”
#Afghanistan: Due to threats outside the Kabul airport, US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates unless you receive instructions to do so. Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately. https://t.co/InzuVjXhLT pic.twitter.com/6ncsJBEVLu
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) August 25, 2021
General McKenzie indicated that there were at least 1,000 U.S. citizens still in Afghanistan. He indicated that there would be another rescue attempt, but not everyone wanted to be rescued.
The Biden administration indicated that the reason they were getting the troops out by August 31, was due to the possible threat of terror attacks, where troops and U.S. civilians are still in the country.
According to reports, the Taliban has not taken responsibility for the attack, and NATO has discontinued all of its evacuation efforts.