Rocket attack hits near Kabul airport, US says carried out drone strike against Daesh

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of two powerful explosions, which killed scores of people including 13 US troops on August 26, at Kabul airport on August 27, 2021. (via AFP)

A loud blast has been heard in the Afghan capital Kabul near the city’s international airport hours after US officials warned of the possibility of a terror attack in the war-torn country’s capital city.

According to early reports, a security official from the recently deposed Afghan government told AFP that the explosion was caused by a rocket that “initial information shows hit a house.”

Two witnesses were also quoted by Reuters as saying that the blast appeared to have been caused by a rocket that hit the area to the northern side of the airport, but there was no immediate official confirmation.

Video footage released following the explosion showed black smoke rising in the general area of Kabul airport.

Further details as well as reports on possible damage and casualties were not immediately available.

A few hours later, an American military official said that the explosion was caused by a US drone strike carried out against a vehicle threatening the Kabul airport that had been linked to the regional branch of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group, AFP reported.

"US military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat" to Hamid Karzai International airport, said Bill Urban, a spokesman for the US Central Command (CENTCOM), using the name of the Afghanistan branch of the Daesh terror outfit.

"Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material," he said, adding that there were "no indications at this time" of civilian casualties.

The explosion comes a day after the US Embassy in Afghanistan warned of a “specific and credible” threat near Kabul airport.

US President Joe Biden also issued a similar warning on Saturday, saying that military commanders had told him an attack is highly likely in the next 24 to 36 hours.

"The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high," Biden said, adding, "Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours."

On Thursday, at least two explosions rattled the area outside the airport in the Afghan capital amid the precarious security situation following the Taliban’s takeover of the country, killing scores of people as well as 13 US service members.

Following the attacks, Daesh's Amaq News Agency said on its Telegram channel that the terror group was behind the explosions.

A senior Afghan health official also said 90 Afghan civilians were dead and over 100 others wounded.

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