Death Toll Rises From Kabul Suicide Bombing; Pentagon Walks Back Second Explosion Claim
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 27: Taliban members stand guard at a checkpoint near Hamid Karzai International Airport, the center of evacuation efforts from Afghanistan since the Taliban took over, after yesterday's two explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27, 2021.
Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

The Pentagon confirmed Friday that there was only one bombing attack near the Kabul airport, and not two as they initially claimed. The attack left nearly two hundred people dead, including 13 U.S. servicemen. 

I can confirm for you that we do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber. We are not sure how that report was provided incorrectly,” said Army Major General William Taylor in a press conference. He pointed to how “very dynamic events” frequently occur in chaotic situations. 

The confirmed explosion occurred at the Abbey Gate, near the Hamid Karzai airport. On Thursday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said there had also been a second explosion, near Kabul’s Baron Hotel — a place many Americans had reportedly used as a staging area during the evacuation. The New York Times reports that “many witnesses reported hearing two blasts.”

Taylor also mentioned during the press conference that wounded Americans had been transported to Germany for treatment. Ten U.S. Marines and three other servicemen were killed during the attack, which has been attributed to a suicide bomber associated with ISIS-K

Kirby also told reporters that they would continue to be investigating the attack and that they were trying to improve security measures at the airport as evacuation efforts continued. Reuter’s reported that in the past 24 hours at least 300 more American citizens have been evacuated. 

“We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts,” Kirby added, “We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time.”

The U.S. has until August 31 to get out American citizens and other Afghanistan nationals who aided the U.S. The deadline has been self-imposed by the Biden administration. 

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