Kabul airport blasts: Joe Biden promises to retaliate; evacuations to continue
President Joe Biden vowed to continue evacuations from Afghanistan after explosions in Kabul killed 12 US service members, and said the US will retaliate against those responsible for the bombings.
“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 said Thursday in an address from the White House.
The two explosions outside Kabul’s airport killed 12 US service members, and The Associated Press said at least 60 Afghans died. Biden said US intelligence had determined that militants from ISIS-K, an affiliate of Islamic State in Afghanistan, were likely behind the blasts.
General Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said he expects more attacks as the US moves to continue evacuations and pull American forces out of Afghanistan by Aug. 31. The US State Department said it’s in contact with about 1,000 Americans it believes remain in Afghanistan and over two-thirds of them indicated they’re taking steps to exit the country.
“We will rescue the Americans who are there,” Biden said. “We will get our Afghan allies out.”
Biden was briefed on the attacks earlier Thursday by his national security team. The violence disrupted his schedule for the day, with the White House scrapping a planned virtual meeting between the president and governors over resettling Afghan refugees and delaying a meeting between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The US and other nations had warned their citizens not to congregate near the airport in recent hours, citing a credible threat of a terrorist attack. Earlier in the week, Biden had warned that continued US operations in the country faced a growing risk of targeting by ISIS-K. It was unclear in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s bombings who was responsible.
Biden had previously said that he planned to withdraw all US forces by Aug. 31, but left open the possibility of a continued presence if needed to evacuate American citizens seeking to flee the country after the Taliban takeover earlier this month.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring Congress back into session to address Wednesday’s attack, adding that “our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of the withdrawal.”
Former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan on Friday stormed out of a press conference in Peshawar after he was questioned by a journalist on his party Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf's role in the social media, Pakistan website Geo TV reported. This comes a day after the former prime minister and several senior leaders were booked for arson and vandalism in Islamabad during Azadi March.
More than 20 countries across the globe have reported detections of Monkeypox cases so far taking the total tally to nearly 200, the World Health Organisation. It had reported its first infection on May 18. Canada: Canada has a total of 25 infections of Monkeypox. Spain: The European nation has so far logged 84 cases of disease. The number saw a significant rise on May 26 when the country logged 25 cases.
New Delhi: Japan plans to allow the exports of lethal military equipment, including missiles and jets, to India and 11 other countries, a move that could bolster efforts by New Delhi and Tokyo to cooperate in defence manufacturing. Regulations will be eased by March next year to allow the exports to India, Australia and some European and Southeast Asian nations, according to a report by Nikkei. It still bans exports of lethal weapons.
The World Health Organisation says nearly 200 cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 20 countries not usually known to have outbreaks of the unusual disease, but described the epidemic as “containable” and proposed creating a stockpile to equitably share the limited vaccines and drugs available worldwide.
The Al Jazeera news network says it will submit a case file to the International Criminal Court on the killing of reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead earlier this month during an Israeli raid in the occupied West Bank. The Qatar-based network and the Palestinian Authority have accused Israeli soldiers of deliberately killing her. Israel rejects those allegations as a “blatant lie."