ISIS-K claims responsibilty for Kabul airport attacks

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The Islamic State armed group claims their suicide bombers attacked crowds of people gathered outside Kabul airport. Dozens have been killed, including at least 12 US troops.

Afghanistan's de-facto Taliban rulers said this Friday that two blasts at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, killing between 13 and 20 people, was the work of an Islamic State armed group affiliate working between Afganistan and Pakistan.

Previous government officials, still in the country, say the toll could rise to over 60.

ISIS-K have since claimed responsibility for Thursday's airport attack, adding urgency to the frantic race to get people out of Afghanistan.

Other explosions have since been heard across the Afghan capital.

Taliban spokesmen, however, claim they were caused by "controlled explosions" by US troops destroying equipment at the airport.

The attacks come as the 31 August deadline looms for the United States to withdraw its troops, and for other Western countries to end a massive airlift that has already evacuated nearly 100,000 people.

US President Joe Biden is due to make an address, after what has been the worst single-day death toll for the US military in Afghanistan since 2011.

The airport is the only part of the country under foreign control following the Taliban's return to power on 15 August.

Pentagon says at least 12 US troops killed

Twelve US troops were reported killed in the attack and 15 wounded, said General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US Central Command.

An unspecified number of Afghan civilians were also killed.

The blasts have been assessed as coming from Islamic State suicide bombers, and that the US airlift would continue despite the attack.

According to McKenzie: "ISIS will not deter us from accomplishing the mission."

US President Joe Biden had earlier cited an "acute" terrorist threat from the regional chapter of the jihadist group.

Exodus triggers last minute panic

More than 95,000 Afghans and foreigners have fled Afghanistan via the US-led airlift since the hardline Taliban movement took control of the country.

Despite security warnings, massive crowds of people desperate to flee the Taliban continued to throng the airport, in their bid for a way out ahead of next Tuesday's deadline set by Biden to end evacuations and withdraw troops.

Biden has not budged on the hard deadline.

Some foreign nations have warned they would thus be forced to leave at-risk Afghans behind.

Fears ISIS will fill the power vacuum

In recent years, the Islamic State's Afghanistan-Pakistan chapter has been responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in both countries.

It has massacred civilians at mosques, shrines, public squares and even hospitals.

The group has especially targeted Muslims from sects it considers heretical, including Shiites.

However, although ISIS and the Taliban are both hardline Sunni Islamist militants, they are rivals and oppose each other.

The Taliban, in recent propaganda, have promised a softer brand of rule from their first stint in power, which ended in 2001 when the United States invaded because they gave sanctuary to Al-Qaeda.

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