The Pentagon on Friday provided updated information on the deadly suicide bomb attack at the Kabul airport Thursday, The Washington Post reports.
The Pentagon clarified that only one bomb, which targeted the Abbey Gate at Hamid Karzai International Airport, went off. The Defense Department said reports of a second bomb at the nearby Barron Hotel were incorrect.
“I can confirm for you that we do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Barron Hotel. That it was one suicide bomber,” Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor said. “We’re not sure how that report was provided incorrectly.”
On Thursday, Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., the head of US Central Command, told reporters that there were “two suicide bombers, assessed to have been ISIS fighters” but said they “don’t know much about the second bomb.”
Taylor said it was “not any surprise that in the confusion of very dynamic events like this … information can sometimes be misreported or garbled. We thought it was important to correct the record with you all here.”
ISIS-K blamed for attack:
The attack killed 13 American troops and 169 Afghans. More than 200 Afghans were also wounded.
ISIS-K (Islamic State Khorasan), an ISIS offshoot that has warred with the Taliban for years, claimed responsibility for the attack.
The military said that the Taliban has helped thwart previous threats from the group and predicted additional future attacks. But the military said it would continue to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies from the airport, flying out more than 10,000 people on Thursday amid the chaos.
“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,” President Joe Biden vowed on Thursday.
“I’ve also ordered my commanders to develop operational plans to strike ISIS key assets, leadership and facilities. We will respond with force and precision at our time at a place we choose in a moment of our choosing,” he added.
Biden defends withdrawal:
Biden said the attack underscored the need to get out of Afghanistan and stressed that ISIS-K is a mutual enemy of the US an the Taliban.
He argued that it was in the Taliban’s best interest to ensure that ISIS-K “does not metastasize beyond what it is.”
“No one trusts” the Taliban, he said. "We're just counting on their self-interest to continue to generate their activities, and it's in their self-interest that we leave when we said and that we get as many people out as we can.”
"It's not a matter of trust,” he added, “it's a matter of mutual self-interest."