World News

Kabul airport still faces high risk of attack: Pentagon

The Pentagon said on Friday the ongoing evacuation from Afghanistan faces more threats of attack a day after a suicide bomber and possible associated gunmen killed scores at a Kabul airport gate.

US General Hank Taylor said evacuation flights from the airport carried on at a high pace amid heightened security after Thursday’s attack claimed by the Islamic State group, and that investigations were underway on how the attacker, or attackers, got close to the gate.

He told reporters that only one suicide bomber, and not two as initially reported, carried out the attack, which killed at least 85 people, including 13 US troops. We do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron hotel, that it was one suicide bomber,” Taylor said. US Defense Department Spokesman John Kirby said the operation continues despite intelligence suggesting IS-Khorasan, the Afghan arm of the Islamic State, aims to launch more attacks.

“We still believe there are credible threats… specific, credible threats,” Kirby said. We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts, absolutely,” he added. We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time. Taylor said around 111,000 people had been evacuated since August 14 as part of the airlift, and 12,500 in the previous 24 hours alone, on 89 US and coalition flights.

He said 5,400 more were at the airport Friday awaiting evacuation. Other countries said they were ending their own evacuation flights on Thursday and Friday, as the US forces begin mapping out their own pullout of troops and equipment by the Tuesday deadline.

Kirby said that as long as qualified evacuees are moved into their port, they will be flown out. We will be able to fly out evacuees right up until the last moment, that’s going to be the goal,” he said.

Source: aljazeera

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