Four US Marines Killed in Suicide Bombing at Kabul Airport
Four US Marines are now dead following a suicide bombing at the Kabul Airport’s Abbey gate, with the Islamic State’s regional Afghanistan affiliate thought to be responsible for the first casualties of the evacuation mission at the airport.
News of the casualties surfaced on Thursday morning. It had been previously reported that three Marines were injured in the attacks. As of Thursday afternoon, as many as 43 Americans and Afghan nationals have died as a result of the attacks. 130 have been reportedly injured, and as many as 60% have been taken to a Kabul hospital in critical condition.
In addition to targeting the gate, ISIS suicide bombers attacked the nearby Baron Hotel, where many Americans are present in anticipation of evacuation from the country.
Map of reported bombing site at Kabul Airport pic.twitter.com/Gu5tKjtS5D
— Abhishek Saxena (@tagabhishek) August 26, 2021
Reports indicate that the gate bombing targeted a checkpoint where American military personnel were screening potential Afghan evacuees for eligibility for airlifts out of the country.
Sources who spoke with a Sky News correspondent in Afghanistan said the explosion took place near a checkpoint used by British and American forces to screen visa holders and refugees attempting to gain access to Kabul airport.
— Matthew Keys (@MatthewKeysLive) August 26, 2021
Firefights between ISIS-K militants, American service members, and the remnants of Afghan security forces have also occurred in the vicinity of the airport, threatening to suddenly turn the Kabul airport into a warzone following days of chaotic evacuations that were spared widespread violence. State Department officials are now urging Americans to avoid traveling to the Kabul airport, unable to guarantee their safety and security in the wake of the ISIS threat.
Security alert from US Embassy Kabul pic.twitter.com/asgLkugLj0
— Dion Nissenbaum (@DionNissenbaum) August 26, 2021
Sources familiar with the tenuous situation in Kabul have indicated that “hundreds” of ISIS terrorists now surround the Kabul airport and American military presence in the city. The American evacuation mission is scheduled to end on August 31st, a deadline that may stand to change in the wake of the direct security threat to those present.
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