[guest post by JVW]
It’s starting to get worse:
We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
This is a developing story. It is not yet known whether the “civilian casualties” are Afghan or U.S., nor whether they are injuries or deaths, though apparently three U.S. Marines have been injured. I will try to update this as new information is released.
UPDATE ADDED (by Dana): The Wall Street Journal is reporting that four U.S. Marines were among those killed in the Kabul airport explosion. The report also states that another three were wounded.d
UPDATE II (by JVW, 11:28 am): This is really bad.
At least 10 US Service members killed, dozens of Americans wounded in suicide bomb attack at Abbey Gate in Kabul this morning. Death toll of US service members likely to rise: US officials.
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) August 26, 2021
UDPATE III (by JVW, 12:31 pm): The New York Times ups the U.S. death toll to twelve, and reports they are among “scores” who have been killed.
UDPATE IV (by JVW 2:03 pm): Secretary of State Anthony Blinkin said today that only 500 U.S. citizens remain in Afghanistan who desire evacuation. According to him, there were 6,000 of them who had informed the embassy that they desired to leave as of August 14, and to date 4,500 of them have departed. Of the other 1,000 left over after the math is done, Blinkin reports that they have not yet “made reservations” (my phrase, not the tortured explanation Blinken provides), and might be dual citizens who do not intend to leave. But I can’t help but get the feeling that the State Department is not telling us the full truth here.