Fox News has updated the number of U.S. Marines and soldiers killed in the Afghanistan attacks to at least 12. General Kenneth McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, said 15 service members were injured. The Daily Mail has described the incident as an ‘ISIS’ massacre that kills 40, including children. Both of those numbers are based on reports and yet to be confirmed. It is also reported three Marines were wounded in the attack. Expect these numbers to be updated throughout the day. According to Bashir Ahmad Gwakh, a journalist covering Afghanistan, Pakistan, ISIS and the Taliban, the data compiled from Kabul hospitals indicate at least 44 Afghans are also killed and more than 130 are injured. He said the Pentagon has confirmed four U.S. Marines were killed as well.
Westerners were reportedly warned to stay away from the airport hours before due to an “imminent” threat from ISIS.
Fox and Politico cited unnamed government sources saying the first explosion was caused by an ISIS suicide bomber in a vest. That detonated outside The Baron Hotel where westerners stay prior to evacuation flights.
Another explosion took place at the airport’s Abbey Gate where Afghans have been gathering for more than a week in hopes of getting aboard an evacuation flight. That explosion was caused by a car bomb.
American officials believe ISIS-Khorsasan was behind the attacks. A New York Times reporter on the ground said they counted 40 dead bodies. A CIA source said Marines were among the dead.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said “a number” of military members were killed in today’s “complex attack.”
“A number of others are being treated for wounds,” he said. “We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack.”
According to Charles Lister, the four soldiers killed in the attack mark the biggest U.S. military loss of life in Afghanistan since before Donald Trump was president.
Joe Biden had previously stated that “any attack on our forces or disruption of our operations at the airport will be met with a swift and forceful response.”