The United States vowed to continue evacuation mission following suicide attacks in capital Kabul which left at least 12 U.S. soldiers dead and 15 others wounded. (Photo – Department of Defense)
The Department of Defense in a statement confirmed the attacks involved an explosive set off by a suicide bomber near the Abbey Gate entrance to Hamid Karzai International Airport.
“Nearby, another suicide bomber set off an explosive at the Baron Hotel. Those attacks were followed by gunfire from ISIS gunmen,” the statement added.
Meanwhile, Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., commander of U.S. Central Command, said despite the tragic loss of life, the mission to evacuate American citizens and vulnerable Afghan civilians from Afghanistan will continue undeterred.
“Let me be clear: while we’re saddened by the loss of life, both U.S. and Afghan [citizens], we’re continuing to execute the mission,” he said.
Gen. McKenzie further added right now, that mission is to evacuate from Afghanistan U.S. citizens, third-country nationals, special immigrant visa holders, U.S. embassy staff, and at-risk Afghans. “Currently, there are now some 5,000 individuals awaiting evacuation from the country.”
Since Aug. 14, more than 104,000 civilians have been evacuated — including about 5,000 Americans, he said, adding that there are a little over 1,000 American civilians left in the country now.
He also added that risks to U.S. forces conducting evacuation operations in Afghanistan are well-known, including rocket attacks and larger suicide bomb attacks.