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Kabul Airport Attack: US Pentagon Says 'Only One Suicide Bomber, No Second Explosion'

Taliban fighters guard outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, a day after deadly attacks. (Associated Press)

Taliban fighters guard outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, a day after deadly attacks. (Associated Press)

General Hank Taylor said 5,400 people are inside Kabul airport awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan.

Only one suicide bomber carried out the deadly attack at the Kabul airport, the Pentagon said Friday, correcting its earlier assessment that there were two bombers and two separate explosions.

“We do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron hotel, that it was one suicide bomber," General Hank Taylor said.

Taylor said 5,400 people are inside Kabul airport awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan. He said that in the 24 hours to 3:00 am Washington time, 12,500 more people had been evacuated in 89 US and coalition flights.

The United States, which has set a deadline of August 31 to complete the evacuation, will be able to airlift people out “until the last moment," Taylor told reporters.

US military spokesman John Kirby said the evacuation of tens of thousands of people still faces more possible attacks like the bombing that killed scores of people outside the Kabul airport.

“We still believe there are credible threats… specific, credible threats," said Kirby.

The Pentagon on Thursday had said there were at least two explosions near Kabul’s airport amid a huge evacuation effort from Afghanistan. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said one blast occurred near the airport’s Abbey Gate and the other close to the nearby Baron Hotel. Two U.S. officials said at least one of the explosions appeared to be from a suicide bombing.

“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties," Kirby had said on twitter. “We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate."

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first published:August 27, 2021, 20:41 IST