- More than 100 dead in attacks in Kabul including 13 US soldiers.
- The United States resumed evacuations on Friday and stated that further attempted attacks are expected before Tuesday.
- President Joe Biden promised to avenge the deaths of the deceased soldiers: “We will hunt them down and make them pay.”
Evacuation flights from Afghanistan resumed with greater urgency on Friday, a day after two deadly suicide attacks on thousands of people desperate to flee the country after the Taliban came to power that left more than a hundred dead.
The United States said more attack attempts are expected before Tuesday, the deadline for the departure of foreign troops from the country, ending Washington’s longest war, The Associated Press reported.
Deaths in attack in Kabul exceed 100
As the call to prayer in Kabul mingled with the hum of the planes As they were leaving, an anxious crowd, as numerous as in recent days, waited outside the enclosure. At one point, dozens of insurgents with heavy weapons prevented them from getting closer than 500 meters.
The bombings near Kabul International Airport on Thursday killed at least 95 Afghan nationals and 13 US soldiers, officials from both countries said, on the deadliest day for Washington forces in the country since August 2011.
Death toll could rise
The actual death toll could be higher because it is possible that other people removed some bodies from the scene, added the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to inform the media.
In an emotional speech, President Joe Biden blamed the attacks on the Afghan affiliate of the extremist group Islamic State, much more radical than the Taliban that took control of the country just under two weeks ago.
“We will rescue the Americans; We will bring out our Afghan allies, and our mission will continue, ”Biden said. But despite intense pressure to extend Tuesday’s deadline, he cited the threat of terrorist attacks as a reason to stick to the schedule.
The Taliban, which regained control of the country two decades after being toppled in a US-led invasion after 9/11, insists on deadlines. In February 2020, the government of former President Donald Trump closed an agreement with the group that provided for an end to the attacks on Americans in exchange for the withdrawal of all its troops and contractors in May. Biden announced in April that the exit would be completed by September. Filed Under: Kabul Attack Killed.
Thousands of Americans remain in Kabul
Although the United States said Thursday that more than 100,000 people had already left Kabul, as many as 1,000 Americans and tens of thousands of Afghans were still trying to leave in one of the largest air evacuations in history. General Frank McKenzie, who is in charge of the operation, said that some 5,000 people were waiting for a flight at the airfield.
But people kept coming. Thursday’s attacks prompted Jamshad, who identified himself by name only, to approach his wife and three young children early Friday, clinging to an invitation from a western country he declined to name. It was his first attempt to leave the country and he pointed out that “After the explosion, I decided to try it because now I am afraid that there will be more attacks and I think I have to go.” Filed Under: Kabul Attack Killed.
They fear new attacks before Tuesday
The scenes at the airport, with people knee-deep in sewage and families throwing documents and even small children at the American soldiers on the other side of the chain-link fence, have horrified much of the world as efforts to help them continue. escape.
But this possibility is quickly running out for many. Some Washington allies have announced the end of their evacuation programs, in part to give the United States time to finish its own before pulling out its 5,000 troops by Tuesday. Filed Under: Kabul Attack Killed.
Afghans are hiding from the Taliban
Britain said on Friday that its flights from Afghanistan will end in a matter of hours and that its main evacuation candidate processing center has been closed. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News that there will be “eight or nine” more flights on Friday and that they will be the last.
British soldiers will leave Afghan soil in the coming days. Several thousand Afghans, especially those who worked with the United States or other Western nations, are now hiding from the Taliban for fear of retaliation despite their offer of a full amnesty. Filed Under: Kabul Attack Killed.
Biden vows to end the Kabul evacuation and avenge the US deaths.
President Joe Biden promised to complete the evacuation of US citizens and others from Afghanistan and promised to avenge the deaths of 13 US servicemen killed in the attack, declaring to the extremists responsible: “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
Speaking with emotion from the White House, Biden said the Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan was to blame for Thursday’s attacks that killed Americans and many more Afghan civilians. He said there was no evidence that they colluded with the Taliban, who now control the country. Biden called for a moment of silence to honor service members, bowed his head, and ordered the United States flags to be placed at half mast across the country.
“We have some reason to believe that we know who they are.”
Regarding the terrorists and gunmen involved, he said: “We have some reason to believe that we know who they are… we are not sure.” He said he had instructed military commanders to develop plans to attack IS “assets, leadership and facilities.”
The IS affiliate in Afghanistan has carried out many attacks against civilian targets in the country in recent years. It is much more radical than the Taliban, who took power less than two weeks ago. The most heralded American attack on the group came in April 2017 when the United States dropped the largest conventional bomb in its arsenal on an Islamic State tunnel and cave complex.
“These ISIS terrorists will not win”
The group is believed to have concentrated more recently in urban areas, which could complicate US efforts to attack them without harming civilians.
“We will respond with force and precision in our moment, in the place we choose,” said Biden. “These ISIS terrorists will not win. We will rescue the Americans; We will bring out our Afghan allies and our mission will continue. The United States will not be intimidated ”.
“We will not be deterred by terrorists”
Biden said that US military commanders in Afghanistan had told him that it is important to complete the evacuation mission. “And we will,” he said. “We will not be deterred by terrorists.”
In fact, General McKenzie, who oversees the evacuation operation from his Florida headquarters, said at a Pentagon press conference shortly before Biden spoke: “Let me be clear, while we are saddened by the loss of life, both Americans and Afghans, we are continuing to carry out the mission. ”