US braces for more attacks

Taliban fighters stand guard outside the airport after Thursdays deadly attacks outside the airport in Kabul on Friday
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Taliban fighters stand guard outside the airport after Thursday's deadly attacks outside the airport in Kabul on Friday

Highlights

Kabul blasts toll crosses 169

Kabul: US forces helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Talibanrule braced for more attacks on Friday after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed around 170 people, including 13 US soldiers outside the gates of the Kabul airport.

A Taliban official said the toll of Afghans killed had risen to 92, including 28 Taliban members. The US military said 13 of its service members were killed.

Islamic State (ISIS), an enemy of the Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army". US officials also blamed the group and vowed retribution. General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said US commanders were on alert for more attacks by Islamic State, including possibly rockets or vehicle-borne bombs targeting the airport. "We're doing everything we can to be prepared," he said, adding that some intelligence was being shared with the Taliban and that he believed "some attacks have been thwarted by them."

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden vowed to complete the evacuation of American citizens and others from Afghanistan despite the deadly suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport.

Kabul residents said several flights took off Friday morning, while footage shared by a local Tolo TV correspondent showed the anxious crowd outside the airport as large as ever.

India on the other hand said that a vast majority of its citizens who wished to return home from Afghanistan have been evacuated and it is carefully monitoring the situation in the neighbouring country.

Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India's focus has been to evacuate its citizens who are stranded in Afghanistan. "We continue to monitor the situation very carefully. It is an evolving situation," he said at a media briefing.

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