Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans at Kabul’s airport, transforming a scene of desperation into one of horror for those fleeing the Taliban takeover.
At least 85 people were killed and dozens of others were wounded in the blasts on Thursday.
Among the dead were 72 civilians and 13 United States (US) service members.
One of the bombers struck Afghans standing knee-deep in a wastewater canal, throwing bodies into the fetid water.
The second blast was at or near Baron Hotel, where many people, including Afghans, Britons, and Americans, were told to gather in recent days before heading to the airport for evacuation.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL /ISIS) group, has claimed responsibility for the attack, the group’s Amaq News Agency said on its Telegram channel.
US President Joe Biden vowed to retaliate against Thursday’s attack in Kabul, saying that he will hunt down those responsible and make them pay.
Biden confirmed in a speech from the White House that the bombings were carried out by the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K), ISIL’s affiliate in Afghanistan.
“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive; we will not forget,” Biden said.
“We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests in our people with every measure at my command.”
Biden added that the US will continue the evacuations of American citizens and US allies despite the attack. “We will not be deterred by terrorists; we will not let them stop our mission. We will continue the evacuations,” he said.