The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) has taken credit through its official news outlet for a deadly blast that killed at least a dozen U.S. military personnel and dozens more Afghans in what was set to be the final days of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan Footage from an ISIS-K video confiscated on March 21, 2018 and published in part on April 18, 2018 by U.S. Central Command shows what appears to be ISIS-K fighters training inside of a mosque in Darzab district, Jowzjan province, northern Afghanistan.
Hours after an explosion near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport killed at least 12 U.S. military personnel, including four Marines, and at least 60 Afghans, ISIS’ Amaq News Agency released a statement announcing “around 160 killed and wounded from the American forces and those collaborating with them in a martyrdom attack of the Islamic State near Kabul airport.”
Again citing these “same sources,” the outlet went on to say that “the attacker was able to reach no more than five meters from the American forces, who were supervising the procedures for collecting the documents from hundreds of translators and contractors in preparation for their evacuation from the country, confirming that more than 20 American soldiers were killed or wounded.”
“It is noteworthy that for more than a week the American forces, in partnership with the Taliban militia have been evacuating hundreds of foreign employees, translators and spies who worked for the American army over the past years,” the statement added.
The statement was shared alongside the image of a masked man performing a one-finger tawhid gesture and holding a Kalashnikov-style rifle while posing in front of an ISIS flag. Amaq identified him as the attacker whose name is said to be Abd al-Rahman al-Lughari.
The Taliban, which has vowed to secure the exit of Afghans willing to leave the country up until the August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden, immediately condemned the attack.
“The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing of civilians at Kabul Airport,” Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement shared on Twitter. “The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a U.S. military base. The Islamic Emirate is very concerned about the security and protection of its people. The evil circles will be stopped in full force.”