United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres denounced Thursday’s deadly attacks outside the airport in the Afghan capital of Kabul, according to U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Taliban and Russian officials said at least 13 people were killed in what Guterres called a “terrorist” attack as crowds of Afghan’s gathered at the airport to flee the country in the last days of an enormous airlift after the Taliban’s recent takeover of the country.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said, “A number of U.S. service members were killed.”
During a briefing, the U.N.’s Dujarric told reporters “This incident underscores the volatility of the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, but also strengthens our resolve as we continue to deliver urgent assistance across the country in support of the Afghan people.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that he “strongly” condemned “the horrific terrorist attack” and said the priority of the alliance “remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible.”
I strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack outside #Kabul airport. My thoughts are with all those affected and their loved ones. Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible.— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) August 26, 2021
Taliban official Suhail Shaheen said, “We strongly condemn this gruesome incident and will take every step to bring the culprits to justice.”
A U.S. official said Islamic State was believed to have carried out the attacks, for which no one has claimed responsibility.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the attacks as “barbaric.” He also said the attacks underscore the importance of continuing the evacuations “in as fast and as efficient manner as possible in the hours that remain to us” before the August 31 deadline.
After the first attack, Britain’s transportation ministry issued an advisory to airlines to avoid flying below 7,620 meters over Afghanistan.
The Associated Press and Reuters provided some information for this report.