Pentagon Confirms Death of US Service Members in Attack at HKIA

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Washington, DC – Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed the deaths of “a number of US service members” in today’s attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul. “A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack,” said Kirby. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and injured.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that the US Ambassador in Kabul told staff that four U.S. Marines were killed in the explosion at HKIA and three were wounded.

Earlier, the Pentagon confirmed an explosion at the Abbey Gate at HKIA “was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US and civilian casualties.” They also confirmed at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.

At least 60 people are reported to be wounded in the attack, and unconfirmed reports of 13 people killed. AP reported that the attack is believed to have been carried out by the Islamic State Group according to a US official.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack in a statement in which he also threw blame for the security lapse on to the US forces, saying that the attack occurred in “an area where US forces are responsible for security.” He added that the “Islamic Emirate is paying close attention to the security and protection of its people, and evil circles will be strictly stopped.”

Earlier this morning, Kirby had tweeted, ”Evacuation operations in Kabul will not be wrapping up in 36 hours. We will continue to evacuate as many people as we can until the end of the mission.” The Pentagon press briefing this morning was postponed. There will now be an on camera press briefing at 3 pm by Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby and Marine Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Jr., commander, U.S. Central Command (virtual participation). In an update this afternoon, the State Department announced that there will not be a Department press briefing today.

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Poonam Sharma, Managing Editor, India America Today

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