Injured people loaded into ambulance van near Kabul Airport
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Multiple people have been killed on Thursday afternoon following two explosions near Kabul airport. The devastating incidents took place as defence officials raised concerns of the possibility of a terror attack before the end of the military evacuation of refugees on August 31.
President Biden has so far stuck to next Tuesday’s deadline despite fears thousands of refugees could be left behind and subject to the rule of the Taliban.
In a series of scathing tweets, Mr Morgan described the decision by Mr Biden to withdraw US troops as “shockingly reckless” and insisted the situation in Afghanistan “has become the nightmare everyone feared”.
He wrote: “My god – as if those poor people haven’t suffered enough. Just horrendous. The victims’ blood will be on President Biden’s hands. He caused this catastrophic situation.”
Mr Morgan later added: “This has become the nightmare everyone feared when Biden ordered his shockingly reckless withdrawal.
“It could now bring down his presidency.”
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed one explosion took place near the Abbey Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport.
Mr Kirby also said at least one other blast was reported near the nearby Baron Hotel in the capital.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said at least 13 people were killed and 15 wounded in twin suicide attacks
The Ministry of Defence has said it is “working urgently” to establish what happened in Kabul and “its impact on the ongoing evacuation effort”.
It also confirmed there has been “no reported UK military or UK Government casualties”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson held an emergency Cobra security meeting this afternoon.
At this stage it is unclear who was behind the attack, but a UK defence source told Sky News it is “highly likely” that an Islamic State group in Afghanistan, known as Isis-K, was responsible.
The US has more than 5,000 military personnel on the ground near Kabul airport to facilitate the rescue mission.
President Biden has been briefed on the latest development in Afghanistan and is not planning on changing the August 31 deadline, a source told Reuters.
The US President has been holding emergency talks with US Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley.
The White House said President Biden “will continue to be briefed on updates on the evolving situation throughout the day”.
President Biden resisted calls from leaders of the G7 for an extension to the evacuation date following a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
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The 78-year-old insisted “the sooner we can finish the better” and warned “each day of operations brings added risk to our troops”.
He also confirmed contingency plans were underway if things changed.
President Biden said: “There was strong agreement among the leaders both about the evacuation mission underway as well as the need to co-ordinate our approach to Afghanistan as we move forward.
“First, on evacuation, we agreed we will continue our close co-operation to get people out as efficiently and safely as possible.
“We are currently on a pace to finish by August 31, the sooner we can finish the better. Each day of operations brings added risk to our troops, but the completion by August 31 depends upon the Taliban continuing to co-operate, allow access to the airport for those who we are transporting now, and no disruption to our operations.”
He added: “In addition, I have asked the Pentagon and the State Department for contingency plans to adjust the timetable should that become necessary.”
The White House has said 95,700 people have so far been evacuated from Kabul, including 13,400 on Wednesday.
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