"We still believe there are specific and credible threats," said John Kirby, a US Department of Defense spokesman. Inside the airport, there are 5,400 people, the Pentagon said.
The United States warned this Friday that the threat of attacks persists in Kabul after the bloody attack by the terrorist group ISIS-K, while more than 5,000 people are still inside the airport in the capital of Afghanistan waiting to be evacuated.
Exit operations for foreigners and Afghans resumed at the airfield on Friday, a day after a deadly attack that killed at least 170 Americans, including 13 American soldiers and wounded more than 160.
But several countries announced that they ended their operations, including Spain, Italy, Norway, or Switzerland. The UK will do it "in a few hours."
France suggested it could continue evacuating people "after Friday" and a French delegation met with Taliban representatives in Doha for the first time since taking power in Afghanistan on August 15.
As such, the United States now considers practically alone the tense mission of completing the largest evacuation operation in history between now and August 31, the date President Joe Biden has chosen to end a 20-year military presence in the country. ۔
"We still believe that there are specific and credible threats," said US Defense Department spokesman John Kirby. But, despite everything, the United States believes that it will be able to get people out "until the last moment."
Inside the airport, there are 5,400 people, the Pentagon said. In the last 24 hours, despite the attack, 12,500 people were evacuated on a total of 89 US-international flights.
The Pentagon revealed only one suicide bomber in Thursday's "complex" attack, and not two separate bombings, as initially thought.
London also announced that two British fatalities were among the fatalities.
In a drainage channel
The explosions spread panic and desolation. Dozens of people, dead or injured, lie for hours in the sewage that runs along the airport.
"Many of the victims are women and children. Most people are shocked and traumatized," a government official deposed in mid-August by the Taliban told AFP on Friday.
The more than 70 Afghans killed were joined by 13 US servicemen killed and 18 others wounded, the most significant loss to the US military in Afghanistan since 2011.
"We remain committed."
At the worst moment since the beginning of his term, a shaken Biden promised to "hunt down" the attack's perpetrators and make them "pay" for its consequences. "The United States will not be intimidated," said the president.
Through their spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, "strongly" condemned the attack but noted that it "took place in an area where US forces are responsible for security."
Under the name ISIS-K (Islamic State Khorasan), the jihadist group has claimed responsibility for some of the bloodiest attacks in Afghanistan in recent years, which left dozens dead, especially among Shiite Muslims.
Although they are both radical Sunnis, ISIS and the Taliban are enemies and show visceral hatred for each other.
There was a strange calm in Kabul on Friday, especially around the airport. The Taliban had tightened their grip, and the mob had disappeared.
He wanted to go like everyone else.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had its first confrontation with the Taliban. He appreciated a proposal by the movement to manage the capital's airport after the US withdrawal.
This week, the head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said that the Taliban had pledged to let Americans and Afghans under their protection continue to leave the country beyond August 31.
But it is feared that many Afghans who have worked for foreign governments and companies or the deposed government will not be able to leave.
The Taliban promised that there would be no retaliation against their detractors. They assured their government would not be as remembered in its previous years in power (1996-2001) when they imposed an extraordinarily rigorous and radical interpretation of Islamic law that penalized especially women. Women and minorities.
The UN reported Friday that it expects up to half a million additional Afghan refugees in 2021. However, no departure has been reported so far.
Meanwhile, in Kabul, families are still looking for their relatives in hospitals.
"He wanted to go abroad. I don't know if he finally entered the airport because the Americans are blocking access, "Abdul Majid said, quoting his brother, who has not heard from him since Thursday. "He was a student, he had talent, but due to the situation in the country, he wanted to leave, like everyone else," he explained.