There are multiple reports of a second explosion near the Kabul airport, this one at the nearby Baron Hotel.
Glenn Beck reports that three U.S. Marines have been injured in the blasts and one infant has been killed. He is live on air from the region and stated that the 82nd Airborne is beginning to evacuate as we speak. Private planes from his non-profit, assisting in the evacuation, are still at the airport, and confusion and chaos abound.
Jen Griffin from Fox News reports that the first explosion was a suicide bomber, and there is now an open firefight.
NEW: Suicide bomber “complex SBIED attack” with firefight at Abbey Gate outside Kabul airport; Afghan casualties: US official
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) August 26, 2021
— GeopoliticalUpdates (@GeopolUpdates) August 26, 2021
There are thousands of people in and around the airport, according to multiple eyewitness reports. According to Beck’s staff on the ground, these include Americans, our Afghan partners, and those desperate to escape the Taliban.
Journalist Lara Logan is also in the region attempting to assist in facilitating evacuations. In monitoring the situation, she reports speaking to special operations officers who are vomiting as they realize they will be evacuated and leave Americans and their allies behind. The State Department told Americans to leave the airport last night and warned them not to approach the facility unless contacted to do so.
#Afghanistan: Due to threats outside the Kabul airport, US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates unless you receive instructions to do so. Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately. https://t.co/InzuVjXhLT pic.twitter.com/6ncsJBEVLu
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) August 25, 2021
Jason Buttrill, with Beck in the region, reported that the Taliban security forces are diverting Americans and allied Afghans to a hotel near the airport. Sources on the ground said it was about a kilometer away, and those waiting to evacuate were traveling on foot. It was unclear at the time the purpose of this diversion. No further details from reporters and assets on the ground are available.
The apparent evacuation is well ahead of the August 31 deadline announced by President Biden. Beck reports that British and French troops are still in the country rescuing their citizens and allies. Humanitarian groups also remain. It is not clear how many American citizens and allied Afghans remain.