Afghanistan updates: Multiple rockets fired in attack on Kabul airport

Written by on August 30, 2021

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.

Officials said the terror group 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 20, among scores of Afghan casualties.

When President Joe 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, he warned of the threat of attacks on the ground.

Here are the latest developments. All times Eastern:

Aug 30, 7:23 am
Americans are not being turned away at Kabul airport, ambassador says

The evacuation effort in Kabul remains a “high-risk operation,” according to Ross Wilson, the acting U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan. But he denied that Americans are being turned away by U.S. forces or embassy personnel at Hamid Karzai International Airport.

“This is a high-risk operation,” Wilson wrote on Twitter early Monday. “Claims that American citizens have been turned away or denied access to HKIA by Embassy staff or US Forces are false.”

Several Republican lawmakers and other critics have accused the Biden administration of refusing to admit U.S. citizens at the airport in Kabul and leaving them behind.

The U.S. Department of State said Sunday that 250 Americans were still seeking to get out of Afghanistan. They have been given specific instructions on when or how to enter Hamid Karzai International Airport, although that journey is still fraught and dangerous. All airport gates are closed and the security threat there remains high.

Aug 30, 1:16 am
US anti-missile system fired to intercept rockets at Kabul airport

There are no signs of casualties Sunday night after five rockets were fired toward Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, a U.S. official told ABC News.

The official said the U.S. military’s anti-projectile C-RAM fired to intercept the incoming rockets, though it is not yet clear how many it took out, if any.

The airport remains operational and flights are continuing, the official added.

Aug 30, 1:16 am
Multiple rockets fired in attack on Kabul airport

As many as five rockets were fired toward Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Sunday evening, a U.S. official confirms to ABC News.

ABC News is still trying to assess whether there were any casualties inside the airport, whether the airport’s defensive counter rocket, artillery, and mortar system was used, and if there were any U.S. counter strikes against suspected launch positions.

Aug 29, 8:55 pm
Former acting FEMA administrator to lead Afghan refugee resettlement

Bob Fenton, the former acting Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator, is set to lead the efforts to resettle Afghans who are coming to the U.S., the Department of Homeland Security said Sunday.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas chose Fenton after President Joe Biden tasked the agency to lead the federal coordinating efforts.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement the resettling group will report directly to Mayorkas and will include a plethora of services from immigration processing to COVID-19 testing.

“The Department of Homeland Security is prepared to serve as the lead federal agency coordinating efforts across the federal government to welcome vulnerable Afghans to our Nation in a way that is consistent with our laws and our values,” Mayorkas said in a statement.

The “Unified Coordination Group” will work with Homeland Security’s partners in state and local governments, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

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