3 Marines injured, growing US casualties reported outside Kabul airport after second bombing, ISIS suspected

At least two explosions have reportedly rocked the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing and wounding several people including Americans trying to get out of the country and setting off new chaos in what was already a frenetic situation as the U.S. continues emergency evacuation operations.

The Pentagon has confirmed the first explosion, which was reportedly the result of a suicide bomber.

At least three U.S. Marines were reported wounded in the explosion, but it’s unclear how severely. Other Americans were also wounded, according to accounts posted online.

**UPDATE: The Wall St Journal is reporting this afternoon that four US Marines were killed and three wounded in the explosions outside the Kabul airport.

“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can,” Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby noted in a tweet.

One U.S. official said that the attacks also ignited a firefight near Abbey Gate, where there were about 5,000 Afghanis and perhaps some Americans seeking entrance to the airport last night.

“Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated by the US military and NATO allies from the airport in the past two weeks. These evacuations are set to start winding down in the next few days, ahead of the August 31 deadline for the final exit from a 20-year war in Afghanistan,” CNN reported.

Witness accounts posted to social media confirmed U.S. casualties, while some also noted that American troops returned fire.

The bombing comes after the State Department warned hours earlier that Americans near the gates of the airport should “leave immediately” over intelligence reports of increasing threats of terrorism, said reports.

President Joe Biden has reportedly been briefed on the bombing, Fox News said.

Others reported that attacks are expected to continue and that the terror group ISIS-K may be involved.

Fox News confirmed minutes later that there was a second explosion near the airport as well.

Earlier, Biden said he would not be extending the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline in part due to rising threats of terrorism.

“Every day we’re on the ground is another day we know that ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both US forces and allied forces and innocent civilians,” Biden said, citing intelligence reports.

ISIS-K was founded around 2015 with the goal of establishing a hardline Islamic califate across the Khorasan, which includes Afghanistan and Pakistan along with portions of Central Asia.

The group reportedly has about 10,000 fighters and is led by a warlord and former al-Qaeda member Shahab al-Muhajir, known as “The Urban Lion.” ISIS-K has said they consider the Taliban to be not Islamic extremist enough.

This is a breaking story. Please check back for updates. 

Jon Dougherty

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