PARIS, France — The Taliban has joined global leaders in condemning twin suicide bombs that ripped through crowds waiting to be evacuated outside Kabul airport, killing at least 85 people, including 13 US troops.
Here is a round-up of the reaction to Thursday’s attack on a mammoth airlift operation put in place after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
President Joe Biden vowed to hunt down those behind the suicide bombings that killed 13 American troops in the worst single-day loss for the Pentagon in Afghanistan since 2011.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden, visibly shaken, said in a White House address during which he said evacuations of vulnerable people would continue until August 31.
“Knowing the threat, knowing that we may very well have another attack, the military has concluded that that’s what we should do. I think they are right.”
The Taliban slammed the blasts, but pointed out they happened in an area that was under the control of US military.
“The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing targeting civilians at Kabul airport,” the group’s spokesman tweeted.
“The explosion took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security.”
Russia also blasted the attacks “in the strongest possible terms.”
“Unfortunately, the pessimistic forecasts that entrenched terrorist groups, especially ISIS, will not fail to take advantage of the chaos in Afghanistan, are being confirmed,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
China said it was “shocked” by the explosions.
They show “the security situation in Afghanistan is still complex and severe”, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the “barbaric” attack, paying tribute to the “phenomenal effort” of those involved in the evacuation operation.
He said that Britain would “keep going up until the last moment”.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed “his condolences to the families of the American and Afghan victims.”
For Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, the bombings were an “act of cowardice,” while Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi condemned “this vile and horrible attack against defenseless people seeking liberty.”
Sweden meanwhile paid tribute to the US service members: “We are grateful for all your efforts in making this historic evacuation operation possible.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to work with partners to resettle refugees in his country.
“Our hearts break for the people of Afghanistan and the loved ones of the victims, including the brave women and men of our allies,” he said.
The World Health Organization said its partner, the Italian NGO Emergency, operates a hospital in Kabul and is “overwhelmed” following the blasts, adding “they’ve got great pressure on their supplies.”
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the “twin heinous terrorist bombings.”
Secretary-General Yousef al-Othaimeen in a statement “reaffirmed the OIC’s firm, principled position against terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry rejected the attacks as “incompatible with all religious principles and moral and human values.”
Turkey’s foreign ministry deplored “this heinous attack in the strongest terms,” while Egypt decried the “gruesome terrorism.”
Iran, meanwhile, condemned “the targeting of Afghanistan’s defenseless people and any terrorist operation in which women, men, youth, and children are attacked.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh “hoped that with the establishment of an inclusive government in Kabul, organizations and related institutions take charge of their duties in protecting the lives and properties of the people.”
Brazil urged all involved “to guarantee the protection of civilians, the respect of international humanitarian law, including the unimpeded access to humanitarian aid, and the respect of human rights, especially those of women and girls.”
Chile meanwhile called for “those who wish to leave the country” to be able to do so safely.
African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat tweeted: “The @AfricanUnion joins the world in prayer & deep sorrow for the innocent lives lost in yesterday’s horrific terrorist attacks at #Kabul airport, that we condemn in the strongest terms. Terrorism threatens our common humanity everywhere.”