Large explosion rocked Kabul Airport in Afghanistan on Thursday, the Pentagon said, after Western nations cautioned of an impending terror threat and as thousands of people gathered hoping for a flight out of the Taliban-controlled country, AFP reports.
“We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can,” Pentagon spokesman, John Kirby announced.
The United States President, Joe Biden, had earlier mentioned an “acute” terrorist threat from the regional chapter of the Islamic State jihadist group.
The US government and its allies had raised the alarm with a series of advisories warning their citizens to avoid the airport.
No specifics were given in the terror advisories, but Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo referred to a threat from suicide bombers.
Considering the take-over of the mid-Eastern country by Taliban forces, the British authorities also issued a warning to its citizens, saying “if you can leave Afghanistan safely by other means, you should do so immediately.”
More than 95,000 Afghans and foreigners have fled Afghanistan via the US-led airlift since the hardline Taliban movement gained control of the country on August 15.
Mammoth crowds continually swarm the airport, in their bid to escape from Taliban rule becoming increasingly desperate ahead of the August 31 deadline set by Biden to end evacuations and withdraw troops.
Biden and his aides have not moved on the hard deadline — even as some foreign nations warned they would be forced to leave at-risk Afghans behind.
The Pentagon had earlier Thursday restated that operations would continue until the cut-off.
But several Western allies have already concluded their airlift operations including Canada, whose government said it was “truly heartbreaking” to leave behind those who wanted to be rescued.
In recent years, the Islamic State’s Afghanistan-Pakistan chapter has been accountable for some of the deadliest attacks in those countries.