Kabul Airport blast: At least 60 killed including children, Soldiers

RNS: At least 60 people, including children and US Soldiers, were killed when two explosions struck within a dense crowd outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul at Afghanistan on Thursday evening.

The explosions took place near the Kabul airport amid a massive evacuation effort by Western countries.

United States’ Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that the first blast took place near the Abbey Gate of the airport. About 30 minutes later, he confirmed another explosion near Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.

He added that the attack resulted in a number of US and civilian casualties. The explosion came hours after the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom issued three separate warnings about a threat of an attack by an affiliate of terrorist group Islamic State at the Kabul airport.

Diplomatic and foreign offices of the three countries had urged people to evacuate the airport. The warnings also came as NATO allies, including Poland and Belgium, ended their evacuation efforts ahead of an August 31 deadline for the US troops to exit Afghanistan.

Several countries urged people to avoid the airport earlier in the day, with one saying there was a threat of a suicide bombing. But just days before the evacuation effort ends, few appeared to heed the call.

Already, some countries have ended their evacuations and begun to withdraw their soldiers and diplomats, signaling the beginning of the end of one of history’s largest airlifts. The Taliban have pledged not to attack Western forces during the evacuation, but insist the foreign troops must be out by America’s self-imposed deadline of August 31.

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