Joe Biden to Kabul attackers: 'We will hunt you down and make you pay'
Biden, in his White House address following the Kabul attacks, asked for a moment of silence to honor the fallen service members, bowing his head, and ordered US flags to be half-staff across the country.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) promised to avenge the deaths of the 13 service members killed in the fatal suicide bombing attacks at the Kabul airport in Afghanistan earlier in the day. Speaking with emotion at the White House, Biden seemingly addressed the Islamic State (IS)-affiliated extremists responsible for the attack and said that the United States will neither forget nor forgive the act. “To those who carried out this attack as well as anyone who wishes America harm know this: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden declared.
More than 60 Afghans were killed and at least 140 turned up with serious injuries after a series of deadly blasts at Kabul in Afghanistan, according to the country's ministry of public health. At least 13 US service members were also killed in the attacks, which included a suicide bombing at the airport, while 18 more were left injured. The US Marine Corps said 10 Marines were also among those killed; however, the central command did not identify the dead by service.
The attacks come amid the evacuation efforts led by the US and other countries to get people out of the Afghan capital ahead of Biden's August 31 withdrawal deadline. As many as 1,000 Americans and many more Afghans are still struggling to get out of Kabul, according to the Associated Press.
US president Joe Biden, in his White House address following the Kabul attacks, asked for a moment of silence to honour the fallen service members, bowing his head, and ordered US flags to be flown half-staff across the country. "We have some reason to believe we know who they are... not certain," Biden said while referring to the bombers and gunmen involved in the attack, adding that military commanders have been instructed to develop plans to strike IS "assets, leadership, and facilities."
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CNN reports the ISIS in Khorasan, also known as ISIS-K, has claimed that the suicide attack at the Kabul airport was carried out by an ISIS bomber, a threat that the US defense department had warned of earlier this year.
The IS affiliate in Afghanistan has carried out many attacks on civilian targets in the country in recent years. It is far more radical than the Taliban, who seized power less than two weeks ago. The most heralded American attack on the group came in April 2017 when the US dropped the largest conventional bomb in its arsenal on an IS cave and tunnel complex. The group more recently is believed to have concentrated in urban areas, which could complicate US efforts to target them without harming civilians.