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World leaders condemn ‘cowardly and inhuman’ blasts outside the Kabul airport that killed dozens of Afghans and US troops

Injured people are carried to a hospital after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan
Injured people are carried to a hospital after two explosions outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021.

  • Global leaders condemned the attacks on Kabul airport that killed US troops and civilians.
  • At least two blasts occurred Thursday: at the airport’s Abbey Gate, and another at the Baron Hotel.
  • Dozens of Afghans and 12 US service members were killed in the explosions, according to reports.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

World leaders condemned the attacks outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Thursday that killed dozens of Afghans and US troops there.

At least two explosions were detonated near the Kabul airport. The first blast occurred at the Abbey Gate of the airport, and the second at the Baron Hotel nearby. At least 60 Afghans and 12 US troops – 11 Marines and one Navy medic – were killed in the blasts, the Associated Press reported.

Political leaders around the globe swiftly denounced the violence. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tweeted that he “strongly” condemned the “horrific terrorist attack.”

“My thoughts are with all those affected and their loved ones,” Stoltenberg wrote. “Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible.”

French President Emmanuel Macron said he “condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks that took place near Kabul airport today, expresses his condolences to the families of the American and Afghan victims, expresses his support for the wounded, and salutes the heroism of those who are on the ground to carry out the evacuation operations.”

“France will see them through to the end and will maintain over time its humanitarian and protection efforts for Afghans at risks,” Macron said in a statement.

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called the attacks “cowardly and inhuman,” adding that it is “essential to do everything to ensure the safety of people at the airport.”

“The international community must work closely together to avoid a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan and beyond,” von der Leyen wrote on Twitter.

Following the announcement that Canada would end its evacuation mission in Afghanistan on Thursday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “this is a very difficult day, not just for Afghans but for people around the world, including in Canada, who have long been deeply committed to the Afghan people and a better future for Afghanistan.”

Read more: How Americans who helped prosecute the Taliban are going down a ‘black hole’ to help their Afghan interpreters

“We all understand that the speed with which the Taliban took over Kabul rendered this an extraordinarily difficult situation for our allies, for Canadians and especially for Afghans,” Trudeau told reporters during a campaign event in Quebec City.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the country would continue its evacuation efforts, which he said was in the “final stages” following the “barbaric” attacks outside the airport, saying the blasts demonstrates “the importance of continuing that work in as fast and as efficient a manner as possible in the hours that remain to us.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said those behind the explosions “targeted people waiting at the airport gates who were hoping to leave.”

“They wanted security and freedom, and that is why it is an absolutely heinous attack in a very, very tense situation,” Merkel said.

The external affairs ministry in India denounced the attacks outside the Kabul airport, extending their “heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of this terrorist attack.”

“Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the injured,” the ministry said in a statement, citing a report by the Hindustan Times.

In mournful remarks delivered Thursday, President Joe Biden pledged to “hunt down” the “ISIS terrorists” behind the explosions.

“We will not forgive. We will not forget,” he said. “We will hunt you down and make you pay.”

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