People wait for flights in Kabul, day after blasts

The U.S. says further attempted attacks are expected ahead of the Tuesday deadline for foreign troops to leave, ending America’s longest war.

Associated Press

Aug 27, 2021, 10:19 AM

Updated 1,057 days ago

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Evacuation flights from Afghanistan continued on Friday, a day after two suicide bombings targeted the thousands of people desperately fleeing a Taliban takeover and killed dozens.
The US warned more attacks could come ahead of next week’s end to America’s longest war.
Two officials said 169 Afghans died, but a final count might take time amid confusion, with many bodies dismembered or not yet identified. Scores more were wounded in the blasts. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The US said 13 troops were killed in the deadliest day for US forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.
As Afghan officials struggled to deal with the dead, at least 10 bodies lay on the grounds outside Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, where relatives said the mortuary could take no more.
As the call to prayer echoed Friday through Kabul along with the roar of departing planes, the anxious crowds outside the city’s airport appeared as large as ever despite the risks.
They are acutely aware that the window is closing to board a flight before the airlift ends and Western troops withdraw.
The Taliban have wrested back control of Afghanistan two decades after they were ousted in a U.S.-led invasion following the 9/11 attacks, which were orchestrated by al-Qaida extremists being harbored in the country.
Their return to power has terrified many Afghans, who fear they will reimpose the kind of repressive rule they did when they were last in control.
Thousands have rushed to flee the country ahead of the US withdrawal as a result.
The U.S. said more than 100,000 people have been safely evacuated from Kabul, but thousands more are struggling to leave in one of history’s largest airlifts. The White House said Friday morning that 8,500 evacuees were flown out aboard U.S. military aircraft in the previous 24 hours, along with about 4,000 people on coalition flights. That is about the same total as the day before the attacks.
More people hoping to flee arrived Friday at the airport, though in one area Taliban fighters set up a cordon about 500 meters (1,600 feet) away.


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