Kabul airport gates closed after deadly attack, crowds cleared
KABUL: All the gates of Kabul airport were closed early Friday following Thursday’s deadly attack, and the crowds outside the airport have been cleared, as per reports.
“I drove a group of people to the airport early morning. We failed to reach the airport as Taliban foot soldiers did not allow vehicles to approach the airport, I drove them back to their home,” a taxi driver Mohammad Quraishi told Xinhua.
On Thursday evening, a suicide bombing rocked a gate of the airport where a crashing crowd was waiting for evacuation flights, and later another explosion hit the nearby Baron Camp, a former coalition base. The ensuing gunfight lasted for hours, according to reports.
“The coalition forces and a group of Afghan security forces who remained in the airport after Taliban took over shut all gates, including the main gate, and no crowd was seen as I saw from long distance,” Quraishi said.
There have been discrepancy reports about the casualties. According to a local TV channel, at least 60 Afghan civilians were killed and over 150 wounded in the deadly attack, for which the extremist Islamic State (IS) group claimed responsibility.
At least 13 US soldiers were killed in the attack.
Dozens of evacuation flights were conducted during Thursday night and early Friday.
Nearly 6,000 US troops have been deployed at the Kabul airport to secure the airlifting operation since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul on August 15. (Xinhua)
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