US Service Members Killed, Dozens Injured in Bombing Outside Kabul Airport

By: Alyssa Wilson

Eleven U.S. Marines and a Navy medic were killed in a bombing outside of the Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan Thursday, as reported by the Associated Press.  

PREVIOUS: Explosion Reported Outside Kabul Airport, Number of Casualties Unknown 

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced the news on Twitter Thursday afternoon, saying, “We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport. A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack.”  

Kirby confirmed the initial explosion outside of the airport Thursday morning in a series of tweets.  

RELATED: Chaos Erupts in Afghanistan as the Taliban Takes Over the Capital 

According to the Associated Press, there was a second explosion near the Baron Hotel, where people were gathering before heading to the airport. Both bombings were believed to be detonated by suicide bombers ordered by the Islamic State group, a U.S official said. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is a more radicalized group than the Taliban, who gained control after American troops began leaving the country.  

The bombings were followed by gunfire, Paul “Pen” Farthing, a former Royal Marine, who runs an animal shelter in Afghanistan, told Britain’s Press Association.  

“All of a sudden, we heard gunshots and our vehicle was targeted, had our driver not turned around, he would have been shot in the head by a man with an AK-47,” he said.  

RELATED: Thousands of Civilians Remain Desperate to Escape Afghanistan After Taliban Takeover 

The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan warned citizens Wednesday night about an unspecified security threat. The embassies in Australia, Britain and New Zealand also advised their citizens not to go to the airport.  

Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzsie Jr. spoke at a Pentagon briefing and provided an update on the response to the bombings. He confirmed the casualties and said evacuations from the airport will proceed.

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here. 

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