An explosion took place outside the Kabul airport on Thursday as the United States and other countries try to evacuate their citizens and Afghans CNN reported.
Three US officials and a source familiar with the situation said that according to initial reports, there were some US personnel among the wounded.
“We can confirm that the explosion near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport has resulted in an unknown number of casualties. We will continue to update,” Pentagon Press secretary John Kirby tweeted.
The blast happened at one of the entry gates of the Hamid Karzai International Airport and appears to be a suicide attack, according to three US officials.
Crowds of Afghans have been gathering at the gates trying to gain access to the airport.
The US Embassy in Kabul said that US citizens who were at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate of the airport “should leave immediately” in the wake of the blast.
“There has been a large explosion at the airport, and there are reports of gunfire,” the security alert said. “US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates at this time,” it added.
A Taliban security source has said at least 13 people, including foreigners and children, have been killed, and many Taliban guards wounded, in the explosion outside Kabul airport, news sources reported.
A second explosion took place near Kabul airport, the Pentagon spokesperson confirmed on social media, Al-Jazeera reported.
“We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update,” the Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby posted on Twitter.
Sources on the ground estimate that over 70 people may have been injured in the twin attacks, according to Sputnik.
Thursday’s attack came just hours after James Heappey, British parliamentary under-secretary of state for the armed forces, warned that there was “very, very credible reporting of [the threat of] an imminent attack” on the Kabul airport.
The second explosion outside Kabul airport was caused by a car bomb, Sky News reported on Thursday, citing a source in the UK Defence Ministry.
The first blast, which happened outside the Baron Hotel, is believed to have been carried out by a suicide attacker, while the second blast at the Abbey Gate “is thought to have been a car bomb,” the source said.