On Thursday afternoon, two bombs went off outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. At least 72 Afghans have been killed, according to the country’s health authorities. None of the Norwegian employees are injured, the Armed Forces states.
Two explosions went off outside the airport in Kabul on Thursday afternoon.
At least 72 Afghans have been killed and many seriously injured. It reports several media, including the BBC. In addition, 13 American soldiers were killed. This is confirmed by the Pentagon, US Department of Defense.
IS has claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pentagon assumes there are two suicide bombers.
No official figures have been released for the total number of people killed.
Children must also be killed, according to Reuters. The number of dead and injured is expected to increase, a source tells the agency.
Norwegians accounted for
The Norwegian Armed Forces is responsible for the operation of a field hospital at the airport. There are just under 30 people from the Norwegian side.
All Norwegian employees are accounted for. No one was physically injured after the explosion. This is stated by Lieutenant Colonel Ivar Moen from the Armed Forces.
One explosion occurred at the airport, while the other occurred at the Baron Hotel. The hotel has been used by the British Army to coordinate the evacuation. It is located very close to the airport. The hotel is also said to have been used as a gathering place for Afghans who have wanted to go to Britain.
– The attack was complex, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.
General Kenneth McKenzie believes the Taliban has failed.
“They have obviously failed to control people outside the airport,” McKenzie said Thursday night.
He heads the US Central Command. They are in charge of US forces in Afghanistan.
McKenzie and the Pentagon met with the press on Thursday night.
Has brought out over 1000 people
Prime Minister Erna Solberg (H) also met the press on Thursday. She condemns the attack. The explosions are aimed at civilians who tried to flee the country, she says.
The Norwegian evacuation ends after Thursday’s attack.
– In total, we have brought out over 1000 people, says Solberg.
– It is a composite group, of which 390 are children. Most of the children have connections to someone in Norway. Some are also single Afghan children, but they are mostly children of employees and partners, she says.
Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide and Minister of Defense Frank Bakke-Jensen were also present.
Bakke-Jensen describes the situation around the airport in Kabul as very difficult. He says that “necessary steps” are now being taken to increase security without going into more detail about what it is.
It will take a few more days before the Norwegian-clad field hospital packs down, according to Bakke-Jensen.
– Dramatically much worse
French President Emmanuel Macron warns that he is sending their ambassador to Afghanistan home.
– The situation has become dramatically much worse in the country, Macron said at a press conference.
No Britons or Italians will be injured, the countries’ respective authorities state. No UN staff members will be injured either, Reuters is informed.
The Prime Minister of England Boris Johnson has convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Council (COBR).
The British Ministry of Defense comments on the incident on Twitter:
“Our main concern remains the security of our personnel, British citizens and the people of Afghanistan. We are in close contact with the United States and other NATO allies at the operational level about the immediate reaction to the incident “, they write.
Biden warned against attacks
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg comments on the attack Twitter.
“I strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack outside Kabul airport. My thoughts go out to all the wounded and their loved ones. Our priority is to evacuate as many people as possible to safety as soon as possible “, he writes.
President Joe Biden warned two days before the attack that they feared an attack on the airport by the group.
– The longer we stay, the greater the risk of an attack by the terrorist group known as Isis-K, which is also an enemy of the Taliban. “Every day we are on the ground is a day we know ISIS-K is trying to strike at the airport and attack both Allied forces and innocent civilians,” Biden said.
To date, nearly 90,000 Americans and foreigners have been evacuated since the Taliban captured Kabul.
Earlier on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned Norwegian citizens about the increased risk of terrorist attacks at the airport in Kabul. They therefore asked everyone to stay away from the airport.
The German military has now withdrawn completely from Kabul, a source told Reuters.