US General Frank McKenzie overseeing the evacuation from Afghanistan on Thursday warned the United States will “go after” the perpetrators of the Kabul airport attacks if they are found.
Gen. McKenzie said the attacks were believed to have been carried out by fighters associated with the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, according to Associated Press inputs.
Meanwhile, McKenzie said the attacks, which killed 12 U.S. army members, would not stop the United States from continuing its evacuation of Americans and others. McKenzie warned there are still “extremely active” security threats at the airport in the Afghan capital.
“We expect these attacks to continue,” he said, adding that Taliban commanders have been asked to take additional security measures to prevent another suicide bombing on the airport’s perimeter. He said he sees no indication that the Taliban allowed Thursday’s attacks to happen.
Also Thursday, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin suggested the evacuation will go on and expressed his “deepest condolences to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and wounded in Kabul today.”
“Terrorists took their lives at the very moment these troops were trying to save the lives of others,” he said. “We mourn their loss. We will treat their wounds. And we will support their families in what will most assuredly be devastating grief. But we will not be dissuaded from the task at hand.”
“To do anything less — especially now — would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered our country and the people of Afghanistan,” the statement also said, according to AFP inputs.
Meanwhile, Reports from Reuters suggested that the responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Islamist group on its Amaq News Agency’s Telegram channel.
The statement on the Telegram channel, “A suicide bomber from the Islamist militant group “managed to reach a large gathering of translators and collaborators with the American army at ‘Baran Camp’ near Kabul Airport and detonated his explosive belt among them, killing about 60 people and wounding more than 100 others, including Taliban fighters.”