Suicide bombers struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport with at least two explosions yesterday, causing a bloodbath among civilians and US troops, and bringing a catastrophic halt to the airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans desperate to flee.
Another large explosion was heard in Kabul in the wee hours of today, but which the Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed was the US military destroying ammunition. Two US officials put the US death toll at 13 service members killed, making it one of the deadliest incidents for American troops of the entire 20-year war. There was no complete toll of Afghan civilians.
Several Western countries said the airlift of civilians was now effectively over, with the United States having sealed the gates of the airport leaving no way out for tens of thousands of Afghans who worked for the West through two decades of war.
A Taliban official said at least 13 people including children had been killed in the attack and 52 were wounded. The explosions took place amid the crowds outside the airport who have been waiting for days in hope of escaping in an airlift which the United States says will end by Tuesday 31st August, following the swift capture of the country by the Taliban.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: WALL STREET JOURNAL
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