With US carrying out evacuations, the Kabul Airport was a red spot for an attack. Suicide bomber and gunmen’s entered the Airport and killed 182 people
On Thursday 26th August, two suicide bombers alongside gunmen’s entered inside the Hamid Karzai International airport at Kabul. These attackers were quickly able to take control and fired straight shots at those trying to board the planes leaving for different countries. The suicide attackers managed to kill around 182 people, 13 of which were US military officials. This was the first time in the last few years, that a US soldier died on the Afghan soil.
With Taliban having control over the whole of Afghanistan, the Kabul International airport was the only safe place for people to evacuate the country. The US military who is still in control was helping people board and leave for different countries. With thousands of people including US military present at the airport, it was the perfect place for terrorist to carry out an attack.
Soon after the attack, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Khorasan province came out claiming the responsibility. US previously has fought against the ISIL-KP and carried out an airstrike against it. With members of the ISIL-KP freshly out of jail, US expected that an attack can take place.
Details of the attack
People were constantly entering and leaving through the different gates at the Kabul airport. US military officials were guarding these gates. All was normal up until around 5:50 PM in the evening, when a suicide bomber rushed up to one of the gates and detonated the bomb attached to his body. This suicide bomb killed many gathered around the gate.
As soon as the suicide bomb exploded, ISIL-KP gunmen’s came out with their automatic rifles and started to straight fire on the crowd. The airport which was a safe heaven for evacuees in fear of Taliban, soon turned into a nightmare. US troops present at the airport fired at the gunmen’s in response, however the terrorists were able to kill a lot of people.
An eyewitness to the explosion and the firing descried the attack. He said that the moment the bomb detonated, it felt like the floor was pulled. He also said that he saw people being thrown into the air by the impact of the detonation.
ISIL-KP in their statement after carrying out the attack said that the name of the bomber was ‘Abdul Rahman al-Logari’. The ISIL has had its differences with Taliban and have also fought against them. With Taliban and ISIL being enemies, the chances of Taliban letting ISIL suicide attackers to get inside are minimum. The US central command head regarding this said that “As to whether or not the Taliban let it happen, I don’t know…”, adding “I don’t think there’s anything to convince me that they let it happen”.
The US governments reaction to the Kabul airport attack
The whole of US were in a state of shock after the attack. US president Joe Biden also came out and addressed the nation regarding the attack. Joe Biden in his statement honored the 13 US soldiers that died and termed them as hero’s. He also paid respects to the Afghan civilians that died.
Alongside announcing that the US will continue its evacuation process, Biden threatened the attackers while saying that “we will hunt you down and make you pay”.