The Taliban said there was no reason to extend the August 31 deadline for foreign forces to leave the country after the deadly attacks on the Kabul airport.
Two suicide bombers and gunmen of the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan attacked Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport on Thursday, killing at least 60Afghans and 13 US troops. The Islamic state Khorasan Province (ISKP) said in its claim of responsibility that one of its suicide bombers targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army.”
The ISKP’s statement carried a photo of what the militant group said was the bomber who carried out the attack. The image shows the alleged attacker standing with the explosive belt in front of the black IS flag with a black cloth covering his face, only his eyes showing.
Here are the latest updates after the deadly Kabul airport attack:
- A Taliban official told Reuters on Friday that at least 28 members of the hardline Islamist group were among the people killed in explosions overnight outside the airport in Kabul. “We have lost more people than the Americans, “the official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters. He said there was no reason to extend the August 31 deadline for foreign forces to leave the country.
- The evacuation of civilians from Kabul has been accelerated after overnight attacks near the airport, a Western security official stationed at the airport told Reuters on Friday. the official, who declined to be named, said flights were taking off regularly.
- Australia has stopped evacuation flights from Afghanistan after the attacks by the Islamic state suicide bombers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday. Morrison said Australia’s military personnel had been evacuated from Kabul just hours before the attacks and with security so precarious it was no longer safe to continue evacuations. ‘Our plan now moves into its post evacuation stage and that involves ensuring the process of returning, through our official humanitarian program,” Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
- The US on Thursday evacuated 7,500 people from Afghanistan after the twin blasts rocked Kabul airport. “From august 26 at 3am EDT to August 26 at 3pm EDT, a total of approximately 7,500 people were evacuated from Kabul. This is the result of 14US military flights (13 C-17s and 1 C-130) which carried approximately 5,100 evacuees and 39 coalition flights which carried 2,400 people, “a white house official said.
- Norway can no longer assist in evacuating remaining citizens from Afghanistan’s capital, Norwegian foreign minister Ine Eriksen Soared has said. “The doors at the airport are now closed and it is no longer possible to get people in, “Sortied told broadcaster TV2 on Thursday.
- US troops helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Taliban rule braced for more attacks on Friday after the Islamic State attack. General Frank McKenzie, head of Us Central command, said American commanders were on alert for more attacks by Islamic State, including possibly rockets or vehicle-borne bombs targeting the airport.”We’re doing everything we can to be prepared, “he said.
- Joe Biden’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has been rescheduled as the US president cleared his agenda to address bombings in Kabul. “The president’s bilateral meeting…… has been rescheduled for tomorrow,”the White House said.