By Thomas Catenacci
Multiple U.S. military service members were killed in explosions outside the Kabul airport Thursday, the Defense Department confirmed.
“We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today’s complex attack at Kabul airport,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement after the WSJ report. Kirby didn’t specify the number of fatalities.
Ross Wilson, the U.S. ambassador in Kabul, informed American embassy staff that four Marines had been killed, an official with knowledge of the briefing told the Wall Street Journal. U.S. officials confirmed the report to Fox News Pentagon reporter Lucas Tomlinson.
Afghan health officials estimated that there have been 30-40 confirmed fatalities as a result of the attacks, The New York Times reported. The officials spoke anonymously because the Taliban, which said 13 had been killed, told them not to speak to the press.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and injured,” Kirby said in his statement.
Two explosions ripped through the crowds outside the airport earlier Thursday where the U.S. and allies have been conducting a major evacuation operation. An ISIS affiliate is reportedly responsible for the deadly attacks.
Officials also expect additional attacks at the airport.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the situation in Kabul, but hasn’t released a public statement yet.
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