Terror attack against Kabul airport highly likely in 36 hrs — Biden
Washington, Aug. 29 (IANS): US President Joe Biden has warned that another terror attack against the Kabul airport could be “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours”.
“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high. Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” Biden said in a statement on Saturday after meeting with his national security team.
“I directed them to take every possible measure to prioritise force protection, and ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground,” he added.
Thirteen US service members and some 170 Afghans were killed in a suicide bombing attack outside Kabul airport on August 26.
The IS-K, a local affiliate of the Islamic State terror group in Afghanistan, had claimed responsibility for the attack.
In retaliation for the deadly attack, the US military on August 27 launched a drone strike against the terror group in Nangarhar province, which killed two “high-profile” members and wounded another, according to the Pentagon.
“This strike was not the last,” Biden said in the statement on Saturday.
“We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay,” he added.
Biden set August 31 as the deadline to end .S military mission in Afghanistan.
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said earlier on Saturday that the US forces on the ground have started withdrawing from the Kabul airport.
The US has been scrambling to evacuate Americans and its Afghan partners from the country since the Taliban captured Kabul on August 15. The White House said on Saturday that around 111,900 people have left Afghanistan since August 14.