Many feared dead in Kabul airport blast: What we know so far

NEW DELHI: Several people are feared dead in twin suicide bombings near the Kabul airport on Thursday evening, where thousands have flocked as they try to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The attack comes just hours after some Western governments had warned of a likely terror strike near the Kabul airport and urged people to stay away from the area.
Here’s what we know so far …
* At least 13 people, including children, have been killed in the attacks while several others are wounded.

* A surgical hospital run by an Italian charity said it was treating more than 60 wounded.
* Pentagon said the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US and civilian casualties. It also confirmed another explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.
* A US official said the attack outside Kabul airport is “definitely believed to be” carried out by the Afghan affiliate of Islamic State, known as Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K).
* A source who was in touch with a witness by text message quoted that witness as saying there appeared to have been two separate but simultaneous attacks, one by a suicide bomber near buses lined up outside Abbey Gate, where the blast was followed by small arms fire.
* The second occurred at Baron Gate, named after the nearby Baron Hotel. The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, quoted the witness as saying that children were among the casualties.
* President Joe Biden has been briefed on the attack, the White House said. He was forced to delay his meeting with Israel PM Naftali Bennett due to the worsening security situation in Afghanistan.
* France President Emmanuel Macron said the situation is extremely tense around the airport. He said talks are under way with Taliban on the issue.
* Macron also said the French ambassador will not remain in Afghanistan.
* The UK government has called a crisis meeting in the wake of the airport explosion.
(With inputs from agencies)

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