Number of American troops dead in Kabul blasts rising – official
Paratroopers assigned to the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division conduct a security patrol during evacuations from Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2021. Picture taken August 24, 2021. U.S. Army/Sgt. Jillian G. Hix/Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON — The count of U.S. troops believed to have been killed in Thursday’s Kabul blasts has increased to 12, according to U.S. officials citing initial information that can change as reports continue to come in.
Earlier a U.S. official told Reuters that at least 10 American military members were believed killed in the explosions at a gate at the Kabul airport where the United States is mounting a massive evacuation and at a nearby hotel.
This developed as a suspected suicide bomb exploded outside Kabul airport, killing at least 13 people including children, a Taliban official said.
Earlier, the U.S. and allies urged Afghans to leave the area because of a threat by Islamic State.
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The official said many Taliban guards were wounded.
Blast outside Kabul airport kills at least 13, including children – Taliban official
A U.S. official said U.S. service members were among the wounded, adding he was citing an initial report and cautioning that it could change. He said there were casualties but did not know how many or of what nationality.
Thousands of people have been gathering outside the airport in recent days. Western troops are racing to evacuate foreigners and Afghans who helped Western countries during the 20-year war against the Taliban and to get out themselves by an August 31 deadline.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed an explosion near the Abbey Gate entrance to the airport had caused an unknown number of casualties. A Western diplomat in Kabul earlier said areas outside the airport gates were “incredibly crowded” again despite warnings of a potential attack.
Many U.S. officials said the blast appeared to be a suicide attack and a witness in Kabul saw many wounded men, women, and children waiting for treatment outside a hospital.
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