Ns News Online Desk: It was a combination of gunfire and explosives, which is classic insurgent tactics. It’s what’s been used in many of the urban attacks that have taken place in Afghanistan in recent months and years – usually with a suicide bomber setting off an explosion. That’s exactly what the intelligence services were warning was going to happen.
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“Where we were, there was suddenly an explosion,” the man said in footage shared by Reuters.
He said he saw “at least 400 to 500 people” in the immediate area and described some of the victims as “foreign forces”.
“We carried the wounded here on stretchers and… my clothes are completely bloodied,” he said. Alicia Kearns, a member of the foreign affairs and national security strategy committees, said there had been “many hurt” in an attack near the Baron Hotel, where the UK is processing Britons and Afghans eligible for evacuation.
The Conservative MP tweeted: “A bomb or attack with gunfire at northern gate of Baron’s Hotel. Worried this will devastate evacuation – so many hurt. My heart is with all those injured and killed.”
Her colleague, Nus Ghani, said she was on the phone to somebody outside Kabul airport when the blast there took place. She later said he was “ok” and was heading to a “safe house”.
Labor’s shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy said the reports from Kabul were “devastating. “This is an appalling and cowardly attack on those already fleeing unimaginable horrors,” she added. “My thoughts are with the Afghan people and the British, US and international personnel who have remained at the airport to save as many lives as possible.”
The US and its allies have been warning of a possible terror attack by ISIS-K — the Afghan arm of ISIS — as the Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw from the country approaches.
Just hours before the explosion, the US Embassy in Kabul urged Americans to stay away from the airport because of “security threats outside the gates.”
A State Department security alert also warned those at three specific airport gates to “leave immediately.” Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said up to 1,500 US citizens remain stranded in Afghanistan.