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Dozens feared dead in bomb blasts at Kabul: ISIS claims responsibility

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Dozens feared dead in bomb blasts at Kabul: ISIS claims responsibility
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Kabul: Several, including children, were killed on Thursday in blasts near Kabul's airport, thronged by crowds of desperate Afghans seeking to flee the country after the Taliban takeover.

The official death toll from the blast has not been confirmed yet.

Meanwhile, the Islamic State, which has emerged in Afghanistan as enemies both of the West and the Taliban, claimed responsibility in a statement in which it said one of its suicide bombers targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army". U.S. officials also blamed the group.

"We can confirm that several US service members were killed in today's complex attack at Kabul airport. A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack. US media said that at least four marines were killed.

The BBC reported that a Taliban leader said that at least 11 people, including women and children, were killed, and several Taliban guards got injured in the blast.

Pictures of the spot showed a pile of bodies and some reports put the number of dead as high as 40, but there was no official confirmation.

The airport blast was said to have taken place outside one of the airport gates where British and US troops are stationed to oversee the evacuation process. It is suspected to be a suicide attack.

The UK Defence Ministry, however, denied any casualties.

"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," it said in a tweet.

The Taliban condemned the twin blasts in an area, which they noted, was under the control of the US military.

"The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing targeting civilians at Kabul airport," spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet, adding that the blasts "took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security".

Another spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the Taliban are "paying close attention to the security and protection of its people".

Evacuated Afghan journalist Bilal Sarwary said in a tweet that the blast took place at a sewage canal where Afghans were vetted.

"A suicide attacker blew himself up in the middle of a large crowd. At least another attacker started shooting, multiple eyewitnesses in the area & a friend tell me," he said.

British Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, a member of the foreign affairs and national security strategy committees, said that "many were hurt" in an attack near the Baron Hotel, where the UK is processing Britons and Afghans eligible for evacuation.

"A bomb or attack with gunfire at the northern gate of Baron's Hotel. Worried this will devastate evacuation - so many hurt. My heart is with all those injured and killed," she said in a tweet.

The attacks came amid warnings by the western nations of a terror strike at the airport as the evacuation of foreign citizens continues.

However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson asserted that the operation to evacuate British nationals and eligible Afghans will continue despite the deadly explosions.

"It is not going to interrupt our progress, we are going to get on with this evacuation," he said after chairing an emergency meeting on the bombings, the BBC reported.

"There were always going to be vulnerabilities to terrorism and opportunistic terrorist attacks, we condemn them, I think they are despicable, but I am afraid they are something we had to prepare for."

French President Emmanuel Macron said that the situation has "profoundly deteriorated" in Afghanistan.

He said Kabul airport's situation is now "extremely tense" but despite the attack, France intended to continue its evacuation operation, as long as a safe environment could be guaranteed.

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TAGS:Kabul updates Kabul blast 
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