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'It's a Hard Day Today:' 13 US Troops Killed

Twin suicide blasts outside Kabul airport also killed dozens of Afghans
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 26, 2021 9:26 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2021 2:37 PM CDT
Pentagon Confirms Explosion Outside Kabul Airport
In this frame grab from video, a medical worker attends to a person wounded in a deadly explosion at the Kabul airport at a hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Twin explosions outside the Kabul airport on Thursday resulted in dozens of civilian and military deaths. The Pentagon says 13 US troops were killed, reports CNN. "It's a hard day today," said Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, head of the US Central Command, at a briefing. In addition to the US troops, at least 60 Afghans were killed and more than 140 wounded, reports the AP. The coordinated attack involved two suicide blasts, along with gunmen opening fire, said the general.

  • The US casualties: The 13 Americans who were killed included 10 Marines and a Navy medic, per CNN. Another 18 US troops were wounded, and the death toll could grow. These are the first US military deaths in Afghanistan since February 2020, reports the Washington Post.

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  • First blast: It took place outside an airport entrance known as the Abbey gate. Witness Adam Khan said he saw victims who appeared to have been killed or maimed, including some who had lost limbs.
  • Second blast: The second blast was at or near Baron Hotel, where many people, including Afghans, Britons, and Americans, were told to gather in recent days before heading to the airport for evacuation.
  • Taliban condemns: A US official said the attack was believed to have been carried out by the Islamic State group. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lightning blitz and condemned the attack.
  • Biden: In Washington, President Biden spent much of the morning in the secure White House Situation Room where he was briefed on the explosions and conferred with his national security team and commanders on the ground in Kabul.
(Read more Kabul stories.)

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