Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed that there are Americans and civilians among the victims in two explosions Thursday outside the Kabul airport, where, according to press reports, 12 American service members and 60 Afghan deaths have been confirmed due to the Kabul attack.
In a tweet, Kirby said there was a blast next to one of the accesses to the airport, the so-called Abbey Gate, which was the result of a “complex attack” and caused “several American and civilian casualties.”
“We can also confirm at least a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from the Abbey Gate,” Kirby said.
The Italian NGO Emergency, which has a hospital in Kabul, said on Twitter that at least 6 people were killed and 30 others were wounded in two explosions outside Kabul airport in a preliminary report, where thousands of Afghan citizens were crowded trying to leave the country on international evacuation flights.
CNN, which quoted three U.S. government officials, said it could be a suicide bombing and that there was an exchange of fire after the blast next to the Abbey Gate. This information has not yet been confirmed by the authorities.
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan issued a warning on its website on Thursday of a “loud” explosion near the airport’s Abbey Gate and “reports of weapons fire”.
It also asked U.S. citizens to stay away from the airport and to avoid its approaches.
It also asked its nationals who are at the Abbey Gate access, as well as at other airport gates such as the East Gate or the North Gate, to leave immediately.
On Wednesday night, the diplomatic legation had issued an advisory warning Americans to stay away from the Kabul airport because of “security threats” outside the gates to those facilities.
Earlier Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of growing security risks as the days pass in Afghanistan.
The chief diplomat remarked that the evacuation operation is taking place “in a hostile environment in a city and a country now controlled by the Taliban” and with “the very real possibility of an Islamic State (IS) attack.”