Kabul bombing: US on alert after ongoing and ‘credible’ threats of further terror attacks

Kabul: John Kirby says there are ‘specific, credible threats’

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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told the reporters during the same briefing that the United States believed there are still “specific, credible” threats against the airport. The Kabul airport attack, which killed 13 US troops and at least 79 Afghans, was claimed by Islamic State militants. The Islamic State’s Afghan affiliate, ISIS-Khorosan, has emerged as an enemy of both the West and of the Taliban.

The attack marked the first US military casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020 and represented the deadliest incident for American troops there in a decade.

Mr Kirby said: “We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts.

“We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time.”

US officials have said the biggest threat facing the airport are potential rocket attacks or car bombs.

US General Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, had said on Thursday that initial information was that two suicide bombers had attacked the airport gate and the nearby Baron hotel.

“I can confirm for you that we do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber,” Army Major General William Taylor told reporters on Friday. He said US troops wounded in the attack were now being treated in Germany.

Taylor said about 300 US citizens had been evacuated in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of Americans evacuated to about 5,100.

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It comes as two British adults and the child of a British national have been confirmed to be among those killed in the Kabul airport attack.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed the deaths and said a further two people were injured in the attack, which US officials now believe to have been one blast at Kabul airport on Thursday, rather than the originally suspected two.

Mr Raab said: “These were innocent people and it is a tragedy that as they sought to bring their loved ones to safety in the UK they were murdered by cowardly terrorists.”

It is understood the child who died was a teenager, while those injured are an adult British national and an Afghan child with a British family.

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Mr Raab added: “Yesterday’s despicable attack underlines the dangers facing those in Afghanistan and reinforces why we are doing all we can to get people out. We are offering consular support to their families.

“We will not turn our backs on those who look to us in their hour of need, and we will never be cowed by terrorists.”

However, both Boris Johnson and Joe Biden have vowed to continue the evacuation effort in Afghanistan despite the attack.

But earlier Defence Secretary Ben Wallace warned that the threat from terror groups will only “grow the closer we get to leaving” following the attack, believed to have been carried out by the Isis-K affiliate of so-called Islamic State.

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