At least 60 people including children were killed and several Taliban guards were injured in two explosions outside the Kabul Airport. BBC quoted a senior Afghan health official as confirming that the death toll has risen to 60.
The Taliban officials had initially claimed that 13 people lost their lives in the attack, but according to BBC and other international news outlets, the death toll has now risen.
Reports indicated that a third blast took place outside the airport a few hours after the initial explosions. Earlier, the US military also confirmed that a massive blast took place outside the airport in Kabul amid airlift of thousands of people inside the compound.
“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can,” said Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby. The US officials further said that the blast seemed to be caused by a suicide bomb. He however added that this was the initial information they had and it may change as further details emerge.
According to some reports, the blast took place at the airport’s main Abbey Gate. Thousands of people were gathered there over the past 12 days in hopes of being evacuated after the Taliban took over Kabul.
Meanwhile, other reports indicate it took place near the Baron Hotel close to the gate, from where Western nations had staged some evacuations.
International media reports indicate that US President Joe Biden has been given a briefing on the blast, as per a White House official. A person privy to the development said that at the time of the explosion, Biden was meeting with security officials to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
Earlier, Acting US Ambassador in Kabul Ross Wilson, said that he could not give details of the security threat outside Kabul airport’s gates, but termed the threat ‘credible, imminent and compelling’.
This is a developing story. Updates to follow