Embassy warns Americans at Kabul airport gates to ‘leave immediately’
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul told Americans at the city’s airport gates to “leave immediately,” citing “security threats” following the suicide bombing that killed 13 U.S. service members and at least 170 Afghan civilians.
“U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey gate, East gate, North gate or the New Ministry of Interior gate now should leave immediately,” the embassy said in the alert posted late Friday.
The alert added, “Because of security threats at the Kabul airport, we continue to advise U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates.”
“As a general rule, we don’t speak to intelligence, but this is a dynamic and volatile security situation on the ground,” a State Department spokesperson told The Hill in an email Saturday, urging Americans to refer to the embassy’s website for updates and any further alerts.
The Hill has reached out to the embassy for additional information.
The warning Friday came amid news that the U.S. military had conducted a military strike against an ISIS-K planner in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, the first known action taken against the terrorist group responsible for Thursday’s bombing in Kabul.
“Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, said in a statement.
ISIS-K claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack, and national security officials have warned President Biden that another terrorist attack is “likely” as the U.S. attempts to complete its evacuations of Americans and Afghan allies from the Hamid Karzai International Airport.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a press briefing Friday that the security officials added they were “taking maximum force protection measures at the Kabul airport.”
Biden hours after the Thursday attack vowed to target ISIS-K facilities “at the place we choose, in a moment of our choosing.”
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said.
When Psaki was asked to clarify these remarks Friday, she said, “I think he made clear yesterday that he did not want them to live on the Earth anymore,” referring to the militants responsible for the bombing.