After two explosions occurred at the airport in Kabul, the Pentagon confirmed US casualties, and Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said that this was a "coordinated attack."
Kirby said that: "We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update."
Two explosions went off at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan Thursday morning. This after US state department warnings to Americans not to travel to the Kabul airport, and to leave if they were stranded outside the gates. The second explosion was reported shortly after the first.It was reported that there were at least 13 casualties and many more wounded. At least three US servicemen were among those injured in the attack.
On Saturday, Kirby was asked about threats, but repeatedly avoided these questions regarding groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda's potential presence inside of Afghanistan which may pose a threat to American citizens.
Kirby cited security concerns as a reason not to give out such information, saying: "I think you can understand ... why we're not gonna get into specific details about the threat environment, or what our intelligence has given us."
"We have said from the very beginning of this that we are gonna try to do this in a safe and orderly way. And that means making sure that nobody gets hurt, to the maximum extent possible."
"So, what you're seeing out of our State Department colleagues, I think, is prudent notification to make sure that whatever movement there is to the gates from outside the airport is done as safely as possible, and that people have the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves going forward."
"So, I do understand the question and the interest, but I hope you understand that we're gonna be very careful about what kind of extra context we're gonna put out there in the information environment."
Thousands of Afghans and Americans have been waiting outside the airport in hopes to get on flights out of the Taliban-controlled nation. The Pentagon did not immediately release numbers of casualties, the AP reports.
An attack on the airport had been warned as a possibility, and many nations had told their citizens and those Afghans who they were planning to evacuate to steer clear of the area in anticipation of violence.
While there's no word yet on who is responsible for the attack, there have been concerns that ISIS-K was operating in the area.
On Thursday, the US embassy in Afghanistan abruptly warned Americans stranded in the country not to travel to the Kabul airport due to terrorist threats, and asked those already at specific airport gates to leave immediately, in a statement early Thursday. The state department wanted to avoid having Americans stuck outside of the airport amid security threats.
"We're operating in a hostile environment, in a city and country now controlled by the Taliban, with the very real threat of an ISIS-K attack. We're taking every precaution, but this is very high risk," Secretary of State Tony Blinken said. The New York Times reports that 1,500 Americans are left in Afghanistan.
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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