Afghanistan crisis | Islamic State group claims latest Kabul airport attack

The U.S. said it destroyed an explosive-laden vehicle with an air strike in Kabul on August 29, hours after President Joe Biden warned of another terror attack in the Afghanistan capital

August 30, 2021 09:06 am | Updated 10:18 pm IST

People who have been evacuated from Afghanistan arrive at Pristina International Airport in Pristina, Kosovo August 29, 2021

People who have been evacuated from Afghanistan arrive at Pristina International Airport in Pristina, Kosovo August 29, 2021

U.S. President Joe Biden met in solemn privacy on August 29 with the families of the 13 U.S. troops killed in the suicide attack near the Kabul airport as the remains of their loved ones returned to the U.S. soil from Afghanistan.

Also read | The Afghan theatre and judging India’s responses

Meanwhile, Germany says it is committed to helping people still in Afghanistan seeking to get out, as well as those who have already fled as refugees, and Britain has completed evacuations from the war-torn city.

Here are the latest developments :


Islamic State group claims latest Kabul attack

The Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for Monday's rocket attack in Kabul, saying it fired at least six Katyusha rockets at the airport in the Afghan capital.

The rockets stuck a neighborhood close to the Kabul airport. The claim of responsibility was carried by the militant group’s media arm, the Aamaq news agency. It didn't provide further details.

The U.S. military said five rockets targeted the airport on Monday morning and that U.S. forces on the airfield used a defensive system to intercept them.

- AP


Afghan situation raises new security questions: Rajnath Singh

The current happenings in Afghanistan have raised new security questions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said August 30, asserting the Central government is alert and capable of dealing with any situation.

He also said no anti-national force should be allowed to encourage terrorism from across the border by taking advantage of the developments in Afghanistan. - PTI


Russia to evacuate more people from Afghanistan: report

The Russian embassy in Kabul said on August 30 it was accepting applications from those seeking to leave Afghanistan on additional evacuation flights, after Moscow evacuated about 360 people from the country last week. -REUTERS


Biden briefed on rocket attack at Kabul airport, White House says

U.S. President Joe Biden was briefed on the rocket attack at the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul on August 29 and was informed that operations at the airport were not interrupted, the White House said in a statement.

"National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chief of Staff Ron Klain have briefed the President on the rocket attack at Hamid Karzai International Airport", the White House said.

As many as five rockets were fired at Kabul's international airport but were intercepted by a missile defense system, a U.S. official told Reuters earlier. - REUTERS


Multiple rockets fired at Kabul airport, intercepted by defence system, says U.S. official

As many as five rockets were fired at Kabul's international airport but were intercepted by a missile defense system, a U.S. official told Reuters, as the United States' nears the complete withdrawal of its troops from the city.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the rockets were fired early Monday morning Kabul time, though it was unclear if all were brought down by the defence system. Initial reports did not indicate any U.S. casualties, but that information could change, the official said. - REUTERS


U.S. has capacity to evacuate remaining Americans

The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden's Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said, as another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the war's final days.

“This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days,” America’s top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said not long before confirmation of that airstrike in Kabul, the capital.



Indian-Americans hold candle light vigil in honour of US soldiers killed in Kabul attack

Mourning the loss of 13 American soldiers in a terrorist attack in Kabul last week, Indian Americans held candlelight peace vigils in various cities across the country and urged the Biden administration to ensure that the perpetrators of the act are brought to justice.

A small group of about 20 Indian-Americans gathered at the reflecting pond in front of the U.S. Capitol for a candlelight vigil for U.S. service members killed in the suicide attack at the Kabul airport.

“We have gathered here to mourn the loss of our fallen soldiers in Kabul. This is a heinous act of terrorism. Coming from India, which has been a victim of terrorism, we urge the U.S. government to take strong action against all those involved in terrorism,” community activist Adapa Prasad said. -PTI


U.S. should not recognise Taliban, says Democratic Senator

The United States should not formally recognise the Taliban, a top American Senator from the ruling Democratic party has said, amid increasing signs that the Biden administration now considers the group as the defacto ruler of Afghanistan.

He also said it would not be a “great idea” to recognise the opposition forces that are not “actually” running the country.

“No, I don't. I don't,” Senator Chris Murphy told the CNN in an interview when asked should the U.S. formally recognise the Taliban. -PTI


Syria says ''thunderous'' U.S. defeat only the first

Syria's foreign minister says the “thunderous defeat” by the United States in Afghanistan will lead to similar defeats for American troops in Syria and other parts of the world.

Faisal Mekdad made his comments on August 29 following a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, who began an official visit to Syria. -PTI


We want to maintain Afghanistan's trade, political ties with India: Taliban leader

The Taliban wants to maintain Afghanistan's trade, economic and political relations with India, senior leader of the outfit Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai has said while describing it as an important country in the region.

In a video address in Pashto, Stanekzai said consultations with various groups and political parties are going on to form a government in Kabul that will have representations from people from "different walks of life". PTI


OP Jindal University announces fellowships for Afghan students

O P Jindal Global University (JGU) on August 29 announced fellowships for students from Afghanistan.

The university said in a statement that the initiative is in "response to the complicated geo-political situation in the region and the need for Afghan students to have credible educational alternatives to pursue their academic goals and aspirations".

A total of 10 fellowships will be awarded under the Advancement of Afghan Nationals in Comprehensive Education (ADVANCE) initiative, it said. - PTI


Afghan official says 3 children killed in U.S. strike on IS

An Afghan official says three children were killed in a drone strike that U.S. officials said struck a vehicle carrying Islamic State suicide bombers.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns.

U.S. officials said the vehicle was carrying explosives and that the initial strike on Sunday set off secondary explosions. -AP


U.S. evacuates over 5,500 American nationals from Afghanistan: official

The U.S. has safely evacuated more than 5,500 American nationals from Afghanistan including about 50 people in the last day and there are nearly 250 Americans who are trying to leave the war-torn country, the State Department said on August 29.

Chaos has enveloped Kabul after Afghanistan's government collapsed and the Taliban seized control on August 14. - PTI


Militant fire across Afghan border kills two Pakistani soldiers, says army

Militant fire from across the border in Afghanistan killed two Pakistani soldiers on Sunday, the army said, in the first such attack since the Taliban took over Kabul ten days ago.

The army said it retaliated and killed two or three attackers, a claim not verifiable because the tribal districts along the Afghan border are off limits to journalists and human rights organisations.

The incident in Pakistan's Bajaur district is the first of its kind reported since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15. -REUTERS


Haryana govt assures all possible help to Afghan students

The Haryana government on August 29 assured all possible help to the Afghan students in the state, with Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala saying necessary instructions in this regard have also been conveyed to vice-chancellors of universities.

Replying to a question on the volatile situation prevailing in Afghanistan, Mr. Chautala said the students from the country will not face any problem related to studies, food or accommodation in Haryana. - PTI

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