Updated 12:04 PM EDT, Fri August 27, 2021
A suicide bomb went off Thursday at a busy gathering area outside the international airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, a Pentagon spokesman said, as the United States and other Western countries raced to complete a massive evacuation of their citizens and Afghan allies after the Taliban took over the country.
Afghan civilians and US service members were killed in the attack. There was one explosion, the Pentagon confirmed Friday, after initial statements indicated there had been a second explosion outside the Baron hotel.
US officials believe ISIS-K, the ISIS branch that rivals the Taliban in Afghanistan, was likely behind Thursday's attack. President Joe Biden revealed he has ordered military commanders "to develop operational plans to strike ISIS-K assets, leadership and facilities."
"We will respond with force and precision in our time, in a place we choose in a manner of our choosing," he said, declining to give specifics on timing.
The Hamid Karzai International Airport has been the epicenter of the evacuation operation. Over the past two weeks, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from the airport by the US military and NATO allies.
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