Thirteen U.S. service members died and 18 others were injured Thursday in an attack on the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Nearly 100 Afghans were killed and many more injured. Two suicide bombs exploded and gunfire broke out outside the airport, where thousands of people amassed in hopes of fleeing the country by the U.S. deadline of Aug. 31.
The Taliban has maintained at least 90 checkpoints throughout Kabul, making it difficult and frightening for foreigners and Afghans waiting at airport gates to return to homes or safe houses. Germany and The Netherlands announced on Thursday they had ended their evacuation operations from the country.
Who is responsible for the attack? In a speech at the White House on Thursday, President Joe Biden blamed the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan and warned the perpetrators, “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”
Biden remained committed to the Tuesday deadline for pulling troops out of the country.
“This [attack] is why, from the outset, I repeatedly said this mission was extraordinarily dangerous and why I’ve been so determined to limit the duration of this mission,” he said.
—J.C. Derrick contributed to this report.
This story originally appeared in WORLD. © 2021, reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.