UPDATE 5 - Bomb attacks outside Kabul airport claim dozens

UPDATE 5 - Bomb attacks outside Kabul airport claim dozens

Multiple explosions in Afghan capital kill dozens, including 12 US soldiers, leaving over 140 others injured


By Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat and Kasim Ileri

KABUL, Afghanistan/WASHINGTON (AA) - Multiple explosions shook Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Thursday, including two outside the airport serving the city, killing dozens and injuring over 100, according to media reports and Anadolu Agency's correspondent on the ground on Thursday.

A BBC report citing a senior Kabul health official said that more than 60 people had died, while over 140 were injured in the explosions.

Fresh explosions were also heard later in the evening, with reports indicating that the total number of blasts had risen to six, according to Anadolu Agency reporter on the ground.

US CENTCOM commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie confirmed that 12 US soldiers had been killed and 15 others were injured in the blasts.

Providing an update on the situation in Kabul, McKenzie said the US is determined to retaliate against Daesh/ISIS, which he said was assessed to have carried out the attacks, adding that the terror group was expected to attempt more strikes in the city.

An earlier Twitter statement by Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby had said that there had also been "a number of" casualties among afghans.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry said on Twitter that there had been "no damage or casualties" among Turkish troops in the airport.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that some of the explosions were the result of suicide attacks.

Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid condemned the attack on Twitter: "The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing of civilians at Kabul airport, which took place in an area where security is in the hands of US forces."

"The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) is paying close attention to the security and protection of its people, and evil circles will be strictly stopped," he added.

In a later statement, Mujahid said several explosions had been heard in Kabul in the evening, accusing US forces of carrying out the blasts inside Kabul airport to destroy their equipment.

He added on Twitter that the explosions had not worried residents of the city as they were not against them.

US forces are in control of the airport as evacuations continue ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline -- the only area of the country still under US control.

Thousands of people are waiting at the airport for evacuation, and large crowds have gathered outside the airport grounds, seeking a way inside to get a flight out.

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