Afghanistan updates: At least 13 US service members among those killed outside Kabul airport

Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

(KABUL, Afghanistan) — Chaos has enveloped Kabul after Afghanistan’s government collapsed and the Taliban seized control, all but ending America’s 20-year campaign as it began: under Taliban rule.

Two suicide bombers affiliated with ISIS-K carried out what the Pentagon called a “complex attack” outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Thursday, killing at least 13 American service members and wounding 18, among scores of Afghan casualties.

President Joe Biden has addressed the nation on the attack from the White House Thursday, saying, “America will not be intimidated.” Biden sat down with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos for an exclusive one-on-one interview at the White House last week, the president’s first interview since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and warned of the threat of attacks on the ground.

Here are the latest developments. All times Eastern:

Aug 27, 6:59 am
US, allies evacuate 12,500 people from Kabul in past 24 hours

The United States has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of some 105,000 people from Kabul since Aug. 14, when the Taliban closed in on Afghanistan’s capital, according to a White House official.

In a 24-hour period from Thursday to Friday, 35 U.S. military flights carried approximately 8,500 evacuees out of Kabul. Another 4,000 people were evacuated via 54 coalition aircraft. Since the end of July, approximately 110,600 people have been relocated from Kabul via U.S. military and coalition flights, the White House

Aug 27, 6:18 am
Philadelphia airport to receive Afghan refugees

People fleeing Afghanistan are expected to arrive at Philadelphia’s primary airport in the coming days, according to a city spokesperson.

“This is a federal-led operation, and we are collaborating with the federal government in this emergency response, protecting the rights and dignity of the Afghan families arriving in the country,” the spokesperson told ABC News on Friday. “We stand ready to provide medical assistance, housing, and connection to our diverse community of immigrant service providers who can assist with an array of social services.”

The Philadelphia International Airport is the second airport in the United States to welcome arrivals of Afghan refugees, in addition to the Dulles International Airport in Virginia.

It was unclear when or exactly how many Afghan refugees would be landing in Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia stands in solidarity with Afghan refugees and we look forward to providing them a safe haven in our Welcoming City,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement.

Aug 27, 5:33 am
UK enters final stages of Afghanistan evacuation

The United Kingdom announced Friday that it has entered the final stages of its evacuation from Afghanistan and no more people will be called to the airport to leave.

Processing facilities at the Baron Hotel in Kabul, outside the Hamid Karzai International Airport, have been closed and the British Armed Forces will now focus on evacuating the U.K. nationals and others who have already been processed and are at the airport awaiting departure, according to a press release from the U.K. Ministry of Defense.

“The U.K.’s ability to process further cases is now extremely reduced and additional numbers will be limited. No further people will be called forward to the airport for evacuation,” the defense ministry said. “Evacuating all those civilians we have already processed will free up the capacity needed on U.K. military aircraft to bring out our remaining diplomats and military personnel.”

U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace called it a “remarkable achievement” that his government has evacuated more than 13,000 people from Kabul since Aug. 13, when the Taliban closed in on Afghanistan’s capital.

“Our top priority as we move through this process will be the protection of all those involved who are operating in a heightened threat environment,” Wallace said in a statement Friday. “It is with deep regret that not everyone has been able to be evacuated during this process.”

“We will continue to honour our debt to all those who have not yet been able to leave Afghanistan,” he added. “We will do all that we can to ensure they reach safety.”

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