AN explosion has taken place outside Afghanistan’s Kabul airport where thousands of people were waiting to be evacuated.
A US official confirmed the blast was caused by a suicide bomb at Abbey Gate, with at least three US troops reported to have been injured.
The blast comes just hours after UK and the US warned citizens to leave the area and seek shelter elsewhere amid fears of terrorist activity in the area.
But thousands of desperate Afghans remained at the airport, hoping to make their way on flights leaving the country and escaping the Taliban.
The explosion took place near the Baron hotel outside the airport, according to Sky News – which is where British troops and journalists have been staying.
Read our Kabul explosion live blog for the latest updates…
NATO CHIEF SAYS EVACUATION SHOULD CONTINUE
The NATO chief, Jens Stoltenberg, has said that Kabul evacuation should continue after “horrific terrorist attack”.
FORMER INTERPRETER SAYS “IT WAS LIKE DOOMSDAY, INJURED PEOPLE EVERYWHERE”
A former interpreter with UK forces who was with his wife, two children desperately waiting for an evacuation flight said the explosions were near them.
His family is safe but he said: “It was like doomsday, injured people everywhere”.
He was by the Baron Hotel and continued to say: “The explosion was near us & it was a bit strong. I saw people running with blood on their faces & bodies”.
BREAKING: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE SAY “THERE HAVE BEEN NO REPORTED UK MILITARY OR UK GOVERNMENT CASUALTIES”
The MoD have said there: “have been no reported UK military or UK Government casualties following the incidents in Kabul.
“UK forces are working closely with our partners to provide security and medical assistance.”
LOCAL JOURNALIST SAYS EMERGENCY VEHICLES HAVE STRUGGLED TO GET TO THE SCENE
Sky News have been told by TOLO News journalist Rajab Taeib, who is on the ground in Kabul, and says lots of wounded people have been transferred to an emergency hospital.
While this has happened, Rajab says it’s been “extremely difficult” for emergency vehicles to get to the scene of the blasts.
He says it’s because of the number of people in the area and the overall security situation.
FIFTY INJURED – AMONG THEM WOMEN AND CHILDREN
The Guardian has said that according to a journalist in Kabul, the preliminary reports say that 13 people were killed and 50 injured in the attack.
Most of the casualties are women and children.
UK INITIAL ASSESSMENT OF KABUL ATTACKS
The Telegraph has reported the UK’s initial assessment of Kabul attacks:
• 1st explosion was suicide vest at Baron hotel, followed by small arms fire
• 2nd explosion was vehicle bomb at Abbey Gate, where US troops injured
• ISIS “highly likely” to be behind it
BREAKING; REPORTS OF FOUR US MARINES DEAD
Speculation on Twitter has it that there are now four US troops dead.
Nothing has yet been officially confirmed.
EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT, CHARLES MICHEL, GIVES STATEMENT
Charles says that he is “very concerned about news of #Kabul explosion and closely monitoring situation.”
Continuing, he says: “My thoughts go out to the victims and their families.
“Securing safe passage to the airport remains vital.
“We need to ensure the current instability cannot give rise to a resurgence of terrorism.”
MP FOR TONBRIDGE, EDENBRIDGE AND MALLIN COMMENTS ON BLAST
In a tweet, Tom Tugendhat wrote: the attack on innocent people at Kabul airport simply trying to escape the horror of Taliban rule shows exactly who the group has brought with them.”
REPORTS THAT TOP FRENCH OFFICIALS ARE FLEEING AFGHANISTAN
It has been reported that top French officials are fleeing Afghanistan and returning to France.
On top of this, AFP News Agency have said that France will try to evacuate ‘several hundred’ more Afghans from Kabul.
BREAKING: US CIVILIANS AMONG THOSE KILLED
US civilians are among those who were killed during a confirmed explosion outside the Kabul Airport.
REUTERS REPORTS NO ITALIANS KILLED IN BLAST
Reuters reports that Italy’s Defence Ministry has said no Italians were injured or killed in the Kabul airport blast.
REPORTS THAT MORE THAN 30 WOUNDED AND SIX DIED ON THE WAY TO HOSPITAL
An emergency hospital in Kabul says more than 30 people have been injured in the two explosions near Kabul airport.
It has been reported that at least six people died as they were rushed to hospital.
The Taliban claim at least 13 people have been killed in the attack.
FOOTAGE APPEARS TO SHOW INJURED PEOPLE BEING UNLOADED FROM AMBULANCE
Warning: graphic images
In this video, injured people are seen near an ambulance in Kabul.
The blast has so far seen at least 13 dead, including children.
The US has confirmed two troops to be amongst these casualties.
LOCAL RESIDENTS DIRECTING TRAFFIC INTO EMERGENCY
Kabul correspondent Ali M Latifi is in front of the Emergency Hospital in Kabul, and reports: “it seems like local residents are the ones directing traffic to make sure the injured make it in”.
BREAKING: ISIS-K “HIGHLY LIKELY” TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ATTACK
A British Defence source has told Sky News they believe it is “highly likely” that Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) was responsible for the two explosions outside Kabul’s airport.
SHOCKING PICTURES CONTINUE TO SHOCK THE WORLD
A US official has confirmed the blast was caused by a suicide bomb.
The scene at Kabul airprot is dire, with the aftermath of the explosion at Kabul airport horrifying the world.
Horrific footage shows loved ones searching through piles of bloodied bodies
PRESIDENT BIDEN IS IN THE SITUATION ROOM
President Biden is currently in the Situation Room, a White House official says. He was briefed on the situation in Afghanistan earlier.
According to initial reports, there are some US personnel among the wounded, according to three US officials and a source familiar with the situation.
BREAKING: BORIS JOHNSON TO CHAIR EMERGENCY COBRA AFTER KABUL AIRPORT BLAST
BORIS Johnson will chair an emergency COBRA meeting today after the tragic Kabul airport blast.
The PM has been updated on the latest situation on the ground in Afghanistan – amid reports that 13 have died in suicide blasts.
ARMED FORCES MINISTER JAMES HEAPPEY DESCRIBED THE TERROR THREAT TO PEOPLE OUTSIDE KABUL AIRPORT AS “LETHAL”
Armed forces minister James Heappey today described the terror threat to people outside Kabul airport as “lethal” amid concerns over the affiliate of the so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan – ISIS-K.
He told LBC: “I was given lines today for what might happen if the attack happened while I was doing this media round.”
He added: “I don’t think everybody should be surprised by this, Daesh, or Islamic State, are guilty of all sorts of evil.
At least thirteen people have been killed after two explosions rocked Kabul airport today as desperate Afghans have just hours to flee the Taliban.
POSSIBLE ISIS ATTACK ON KABUL AIRPORT
A journalist in Kabul has sent a statement to The Guardian from the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, saying the Americans had been told about a possible Isis attack on Kabul airport.
“The Taliban are committed to the international community and will not allow terrorists to use Afghanistan as a base for their operations. The Taliban have warned US troops about possible terrorist groups such as ISIS,” Mujahid said.
BORIS JOHNSON UPDATED ON SITUATION
A No.10 spokesperson has said “The Prime Minister has been updated on the situation at the airport in Kabul and will chair a COBR later this afternoon”.
LARISA BROWN, THE DEFENCE EDITOR OF THE TIMES, REPORTS NO BRITISH CASUALTIES
In a tweet, Larisa has “confirmed no UK casualties in attack at Abbey gate near the Baron hotel”.
However, official statements and numbers of casualties are yet to be released.