The United States announced it carried out a drone attack in eastern Afghanistan against a “planner” of an ISIL-affiliated group, a day after an attack outside Kabul’s airport that killed at least 175 people and 13 US troops.
“The unmanned air strike occurred in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target,” Captain Bill Urban of the US Central Command said in a statement. “We know of no civilian casualties.”
The news comes as the US forces helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Taliban rule issued an alert on Saturday of possible attacks at Kabul airport. The United States believes there are still “specific, credible” threats against the airport after the bombings at one of its gates.
Here are the latest updates:
NATO and US forces ready for more attacks
Western forces running the Afghan airlift braced for more attacks after the United States launched a drone strike that killed an ISKP “planner”.
The White House said the next few days are likely to be the most dangerous.
“We certainly are prepared and would expect future attempts,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters in Washington. “We’re monitoring these threats, very, very specifically, virtually in real time.”
Taliban says female public health workers can return to work
Taliban announced that female workers from the ministry of public health can return to work, according to Al Jazeera’s Ali Latifi, who is reporting from Kabul.
Report: US attack carried out to prevent future ISKP attacks
A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency that the US drone attack was against an ISIL-affiliated group planning “future attacks”.
A Reaper drone, which took off from the Middle East, reportedly struck target while he was in a car with another associate, the official said.
Both are believed to have been killed, the official added.
Most of new Afghan refugees ‘likely’ to end up in Iran, Pakistan
Most of the new Afghan refugees fleeing the country following the takeover of the Taliban are likely to end up in Iran and Pakistan, a refugee group said.
Hardin Lang of Refugees International in the US told Al Jazeera on Saturday that “very difficult weeks and months are coming ahead” for the refugees as they try to escape the country.
He pointed out Iran and Pakistan already host 2.2 million refugees from Afghanistan before the current crisis erupted.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR earlier said up to half a million Afghans could flee in a “worst-case scenario”.
US drone attack kills ISKP ‘planner’ in eastern Afghanistan
An American drone strike in eastern Afghanistan killed a “planner” of the ISIL-affiliated group, a day after an attack outside Kabul’s airport that killed at least 175 Afghans and 13 US troops.
“Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” a US military statement said late on Friday.
US President Joe Biden promised to retaliate for the suicide blasts in Kabul, confirming the bombings were carried out by ISKP.
“We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command,” he said.
US embassy in Kabul warns Americans to avoid airport
Americans should avoid travelling to the Kabul airport because of security threats, and those near the gates should “leave immediately”, the US Embassy said in a statement.
A senior Taliban commander said some ISKP members had been arrested in connection with the Kabul attack. “They are being interrogated by our intelligence team,” the commander said.
US says it evacuated 4,200 people in 12 hours
The US says it has evacuated about 4,200 people in 12 hours on Friday, following the deadly suicide attack near the airport in Kabul.
“Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 109,200 people,” the White House said in a statement. “Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 114,800 people.”
France ends its evacuation operation
France has ended its evacuation operation in Kabul, government ministers announced citing the “security conditions” and looming withdrawal of US troops by the end of the month.
“In exceptionally difficult circumstances, France evacuated nearly 3,000 people,” a joint statement by Defence Minister Florence Parly and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.
The ministers added Paris will continue to help the people of Afghanistan “by all possible means”. They said they will work with Taliban officials to ensure that departures from the country are not impeded after August 31.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES