UK / Will continue evacuation op despite 'barbaric' Kabul attack: UK PM

Vikrant Shekhawat : Aug 27, 2021, 03:36 PM
London: The United Kingdom will continue its evacuation operation from Kabul despite the attack near Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Thursday (local time).

"I utterly condemn the barbaric terrorist attack in Kabul in which Afghans and members of the US military lost their lives. The threat of terrorist attack is one of the constraints we've been operating under, but our evacuation effort continues with over 12,000 extracted so far," the Prime Minister said.

Addressing the British media in London, Johnson said his government has "already extracted the overwhelming majority" of people eligible for evacuation to the UK from Afghanistan.

"We're going to continue with that operation and we're now coming towards the end of it, to the very end of it," Johnson said. "What this attack shows is the importance of continuing that work in as fast and as efficient manner as possible in the hours that remain to us, and that's what we're going to do," he said.

Meanwhile, US media reported citing officials that there is a new threat of vehicle-borne improvised IED (VBIED) at North Gate of Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul.

Four US Marines are among the 35 people who were reportedly killed in twin bomb blasts outside Kabul airport on Thursday. The first blast was reported at the Abbey Gate in Kabul airport while the second one was near the Baron Hotel.

Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed the development saying that "a number of US service members" were killed in today's complex attack at Kabul airport.

Meanwhile, the US embassy has issued fresh warning in Kabul.

Back in Washington, US President Joe Biden met with top officials of his administration on Thursday as two explosions were reported in Kabul. Biden met with his national security team this morning, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chairman of Joint Chief of Staff Mark Milley, and commanders on the ground. Meanwhile, the Taliban has condemned the bombing of civilians at Kabul airport after reports suggested that an ISIS suicide bomber was responsible for the explosion outside the Kabul airport.