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US warns ‘credible threats’ to Kabul airlift after IS attack

Backpacks and belongings of Afghan people who were waiting to be evacuated are seen at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)
Backpacks and belongings of Afghan people who were waiting to be evacuated are seen at the site of the August 26 twin suicide bombs, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP)

The high-risk Kabul airlift operation to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies still faces “specific, credible threats,” the Pentagon says, one day after a suicide bomber targeted the throng trying to flee Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, killing at least 85 people including 13 US servicemen.

“We still believe there are credible threats… specific, credible threats,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby tells reporters.

“We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts, absolutely,” he says.

The Pentagon also clarifies that there was one explosion on Thursday, and not two as previously believed.

The blast claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group targeted US forces, but hit hardest the mass of people who had converged on the airport in a desperate bid to escape the Taliban’s feared hardline rule.

At least 72 civilians and 13 American troops were killed, according to various authorities, in an attack that came after a chorus of warnings of an imminent threat to the US-led evacuation effort, with the clock ticking towards an August 31 deadline.

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