By Emily Crane
Twin suicide attacks outside Kabul’s airport Thursday have killed at least 13 people, including children, and left at least three US soldiers and dozens of others wounded, according to US and Taliban officials.
The first explosion occurred outside Hamid Karzai International Airport’s Abbey Gate, the airfield’s main entrance gate, when a bomber reportedly detonated a suicide vest — just hours after an ISIS terror attack warning was issued.
A second blast was reported soon after outside the nearby Baron Hotel in what the Pentagon is describing as a “complex attack.”
A Taliban official said at least 13 people, including children, were killed and “many” Taliban guards were injured in the explosions.
“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said.
At least three US troops were injured, including one who was seriously wounded, US officials said. An official told Reuters that US casualty numbers were expected to increase.
An emergency hospital in Kabul says it is treating more than 30 who were wounded in the explosions.
Harrowing images and witness accounts are emerging, including blood-soaked people being treated at the scene of the twin suicide attacks.
An Afghan man who was near the first explosion said some people appeared to be missing body parts after the blast. Another told Fox News that a young girl died in his arms.
President Biden has been briefed on the explosions, according to a White House official.
He was in a security meeting about the Afghanistan situation when the first attack occurred.
The US and its allies have been warning of a possible terror attack by ISIS-K — the Afghan arm of ISIS — as the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw from the country approaches.
Just hours before the explosion, the US Embassy in Kabul urged Americans to stay away from the airport because of “security threats outside the gates.”
A State Department security alert also warned those at three specific airport gates to “leave immediately.”
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