Pentagon Confirms an Explosion Outside Kabul Airport: ‘Casualties Unclear’

TOPSHOT - Afghan passengers sit as they wait to leave the Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war, as thousands of people mobbed the city's airport trying to flee the group's feared hardline brand of Islamist rule. (Photo by Wakil …
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby on Thursday morning confirmed two explosions in Kabul — one outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport and another near the Baron Hotel, with a “number” of U.S. and civilian casualties.

“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can,” he posted on Twitter.

He later followed up with another tweet confirming U.S. casualties and at least one other explosion:

The State Department Operations Center reportedly suggested there were “four or more” U.S. service members injured or killed in the explosion.”

Fox News reported at least three American military members injured in the attack. The attack also reportedly prompted rapid gunfire exchanges.

Journalists from the region have begun sharing images allegedly of the immediate aftermath of the explosion. Local reports indicate the explosion occurred in a densely populated part of the airport, potentially causing a large number of casualties.

The Afghan broadcaster 1TV News published photos of civilians using wheelbarrows to tend to the injured and people fleeing the scene covered in blood.

Warning – Graphic Images:

There are more than 5,000 U.S. troops at the airport conducting a “non-combatant evacuation operation,” launched after the Taliban took over the capital on August 14, faster than the Biden administration expected and ahead of President Joe Biden’s announced troop withdrawal date on August 31.

The evacuation operation is scheduled to wrap up on August 31, although there are at least approximately 1,500 American citizens believed to be still in Afghanistan, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for more developments.

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