More than 100 people are reported to have been killed in the terrorist attack at the Kabul airport. ISIS has claimed credit for the attacks through its Afghanistan branch, which has been considered to be the greatest danger to Americans and Afghans seeking to escape from the country. American troops were apparently the primary focus of the attack and at least 13 were killed; most were Marines who were in place to secure the evacuation.
At least 100 dead in Kabul attack
The tense state of fragile peace at the Kabul airport was finally shattered on August 26 by what was apparently a suicide bombing.
Given the enormous crowds packed at the gates of the airport and the difficulty of keeping order this was always an threat which NATO troops on the ground were very conscious of.
Several governments involved in the evacuation warned their citizens to avoid the area in the hours before the attack, indicating that there was some degree of prior knowledge.
The explosion targeted one of the main gates being used by American troops to screen people seeking admittance to the airport.
The Pentagon has stated that initial reports of a second explosion near the Baron Hotel in Kabul were inaccurate and that there is believed to have been only one suicide bomber.
Reports from Kabul continue to be somewhat unclear; the consensus for now is that there was one suicide bombing at the airport and that there were heavy civilian casualties.
ISIS targeted Americans
Some claimed that as many as 170 civilians had died in the attack, with hundreds more potentially wounded, though estimates have varied widely.
At least 13 American troops were killed and at least a dozen more were injured. In claiming responsibility ISIS stated that the attack had intentionally targeted Americans and “collaborators.”
Conflicting reports emerged from the Taliban regarding their own casualties. Spokesmen for the new regime have stated numbers ranging from zero to 28 fighters among the dead.
It seems almost certain that the Taliban took heavy casualties from the attack given their presence amongst the crowds and proximity to NATO troops throughout the course of the evacuation.
ISIS in Afghanistan is a sworn enemy of the Taliban and there is no indication or reason to believe that the Taliban had any involvement in or prior knowledge of the attack.
Some kind of assault on the airport had been seen as almost an inevitability given the circumstances and the Pentagon says that it is likely that there could be more attacks to come before the United States completes its withdrawal of troops and citizens.