People eligible to be evacuated into the UK will be left behind as the final British flights leave on Friday following the Kabul bomb attack, according to Sky News.
The UK has evacuated almost 14,000 people since 13 August, including 7,975 Afghan current and former UK employees accompanied by their families. British troops have started to leave Afghanistan as well.
The blast occurred hours after Western governments urged their citizens not to go to the airport because of an imminent attack by the terrorist organization Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K).
The explosion hit the area around International Airport in Kabul on Thursday evening.
The attack was carried out by an ISIS-K militant wearing a suicide vest.
There was a second blast reported at the Baron Hotel near Abbey Gate, where British officials processed Afghans wishing to resettle in the UK. However, the Pentagon’s latest update says there was only one bomb attack.
Reports of casualties vary from 95 to over 170 people. Estimated 150 others were injured.
Two British adults and a child were killed, further two were injured.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the Britons killed “were innocent people and it is a tragedy that as they sought to bring their loved ones to safety in the U.K. they were murdered by cowardly terrorists.”
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “We will process the [1,000] people that we’ve brought with us (…) and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed (…) The sad fact is not every single one will get out.”
13 US troops were killed, further 15 were injured in the attack. The US casualties are the first in Afghanistan in the past 18 months.
The Islamic State Khorasan claimed responsibility for the suicide attack.
The US president Joe Biden has now given his commanders full authority to conduct operations against ISIS-K targets.
“We will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay,” said Biden.
In addition, several Taliban fighters have reportedly died in the bombing.
The ISIS-K and the Taliban have been fighting together for some time. Islamic State fighters describe the Taliban as bad Muslims because of their ‘soft’ version of Islamic rule.
However, thousands of ISIS-K and al Qaeda prisoners had been freed by the Taliban from the Bagram prison more than a week ago.
“We’ve not been certain about [Taliban’s lack of involvement] at all,” said press secretary John Kirby.
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