Kamis, 26 Agustus 2021

Explosion occurs outside Kabul airport, casualties unclear - ABC News

There has been an explosion outside Kabul's Hamid Karzai international airport, where thousands of people have been waiting to exit Afghanistan on evacuation flights.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby was the first official to confirm the news but added it was unclear if there were any casualties.

A Reuters report indicated the explosion came from a suicide bomber, but that report was not yet confirmed by officials.

The explosion came hours after British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said there was "very credible" intelligence that militants were planning an attack on people gathering at the airport.

Several countries, including Australia, urged people to avoid the airport earlier in the day.

The ABC has sought comment from DFAT for information on any Australians in the region.

Thousands of people have been attempting to flee the country since the Taliban swept to power two weeks ago, while Western nations have been trying to evacuate citizens and Afghans who helped their armed forces over the last 20 years.


They have been doing so ahead of an August 31 deadline.

US President Joe Biden has been briefed on the explosion, according to a White House official.

Mr Biden was in a meeting with security officials about the situation in Afghanistan, where the United States is in the final steps of ending its 20-year war, when the explosion was first reported, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Britain's Defence Ministry said on Twitter it was, "working urgently to establish what has happened in Kabul and its impact on the ongoing evacuation effort".

"Our primary concern remains the safety of our personnel, British citizens and the citizens of Afghanistan. We are in close contact with our US and other NATO allies at an operational level on the immediate response to this incident."

More to come.

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2021-08-26 14:04:27Z

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