Afghanistan Live Updates: 2 Explosions outside Kabul Airport Kills 12 U.S. Service Members, Injures 15

Live Updates

In a Pentagon briefing, General Kenneth McKenzie said 12 U.S. service members were killed and 15 wounded in two explosions outside the Kabul airport earlier in the day.

Additionally, an Afghan official said that at least 60 Afghans were killed in Thursday's attack, while 143 were injured, the Associated Press reported. McKenzie warned during the briefing that there is still a "real" and "imminent" threat from ISIS-K that could include entail rockets, gunfire and suicide attacks.

"We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks and we expect those attacks to continue," he said.

McKenzie said that the U.S. was still trying to determine the group responsible for the attack, but promised to "go after them" if they were identified. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks on its official news outlet, Amaq News Agency, though their involvement has not been officially confirmed by the U.S.

The names of the individuals killed or injured have not been publicly released, and it remains unclear how many others were injured or the extent of their wounds.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby confirmed earlier in the day that "a number of U.S. service members and Afghans were killed in the attack." The Department of Defense is expected to brief the media at 3 pm. ET, when more information about the explosions is expected.

The explosions come after the U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent an alert urging citizens to avoid the airport due to a security threat. Officials were concerned groups like ISIS-K are planning an assault on the facility.

U.S. officials believe ISIS is behind the attacks. In the briefing, McKenzie said two suicide bombers deployed the explosives while gunmen fired into the crowd gathered at the airport's Abbey Gate.

Several European countries announced early on Thursday morning that they would be halting airlifts out of Afghanistan, citing "very credible" evidence of an imminent attack and the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers. It means thousands looking for an escape from Taliban rule may have to wait for longer for support — or risk dangerous smuggling trips out of the country.

The live updates for this event have ended.

KEY MOMENTS

Man Wounded in Kabul Attack
Two suicide bombers and gunmen targeted crowds massing near the Kabul airport, in the waning days of a massive airlift that has drawn thousands of people seeking to flee the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. In this frame grab from video, people attend to a wounded man near the site of a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 26, 2021. AP Photo

ISIS Claims Responsibility for Kabul Attacks on Official News Outlet

The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) took responsibility for Thursday's attacks outside the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members and 60 Afghans.

ISIS made the claim through its official news outlet, Amaq News Agency, announcing "around 160 killed and wounded from the American forces and those collaborating with them in a martyrdom attack of the Islamic State near Kabul airport."

Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. said during a Pentagon briefing earlier Thursday that the U.S. was still working to determine the party responsible, but there is still a "real" and "imminent" threat from ISIS-K.

"We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks and we expect those attacks to continue," he said.

A Taliban spokesperson denounced the attack in a statement shared on Twitter, saying that the "evil circles will be stopped in full force."

"The Islamic Emirate strongly condemns the bombing of civilians at Kabul Airport," Zabihullah Mujahid said in the statement. "The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a U.S. military base. The Islamic Emirate is very concerned about the security and protection of its people."

READ MORE: ISIS Takes Credit for Kabul Explosion That Killed US Marines, Taliban Vows to Fight 'Evil' Attackers

Congress 'Deeply Concerned' About Afghanistan Situation 'On a Bipartisan Basis,' Nancy Pelosi Says

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the "heinous terrorist attack" outside the Kabul airport on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives in a statement.

She asserted that Congress "on a bipartisan basis" is "deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan."

"As we work with the Biden Administration to bring stability to the situation, Congress must continue to be kept closely informed, which is why I have requested that the Executive Branch continue to brief Members. At the same time, our Committees of Jurisdiction will continue to hold briefings on Afghanistan," she said in the statement.

Biden to Address Nation Following Kabul Attacks That Killed Service Members, Afghans

President Joe Biden will address the nation Thursday evening following the attacks outside the Kabul airport that killed at least 12 U.S. service members and at least 60 Afghans.

Multiple items of Biden's schedule were cancelled or delayed throughout the day as he monitored the events in Afghanistan.

Biden's remarks are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. ET, and can be viewed live here.

Why the Taliban considers ISIS-K its "enemy"

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned of a real and imminent threat from ISIS-K, a faction of the Islamic State militant group known as ISIS.

Now, U.S. officials believe ISIS-K is responsible for the attacks on the Kabul airport Thursday.

The ISIS-K, or ISIS-Khorasan, faction first arose in 2015 when an ex-Taliban member declared the group's presence in the Khorasan Province, a historical area encompassing parts of Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Since then, it has been the largest group claiming ISIS affiliation in Afghanistan.

ISIS-K and the Taliban have a tumultuous relationship in the region.

"Basically, the Taliban has consistently considered ISIS as an enemy," Anthony H. Cordesman, an expert on military strategy and the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told Newsweek. "It is seen as a non-Afghan group, in terms of loyalty, by the Taliban, [one] that does not conform to their concept of Sharia."

Cordesman said ISIS-K interprets Sharia law as a religious justification for a Caliphate, a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Prophet Muhammad who leads the entire Muslim world. This runs contrary to the power structure of the Taliban, which seeks to exert influence over Afghan customs and social practices.

"People of the same faith can be even more violent when dealing with sects of the same faith," Cordesman told Newsweek. "These are much more power struggles than they are religious debates."

READ MORE: "How Taliban's Feud with ISIS Could Doom Its Push for International Recognition"

U.S. 'Will Not Be Dissuaded From the Task at Hand,' Defense Secretary Says in Statement

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asserted that the U.S. "will not be dissuaded from the task at hand" despite the loss of at least 12 military service members in the Kabul attacks.

"To do anything less-especially now-would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered our country and the people of Afghanistan," Austin said in a statement.

Austin expressed condolences to the loved ones and colleagues of those killed in the attacks on behalf of the Department of Defense.

"Terrorists took their lives at the very moment these troops were trying to save the lives of others," he said.

"We mourn their loss. We will treat their wounds. And we will support their families in what will most assuredly be devastating grief."

On behalf of the men and women of the @deptofdefense, I express my deepest condolences to the loved ones and teammates of all those killed and wounded in Kabul today. Full statement below: pic.twitter.com/GqwuJBKAAF

— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III (@SecDef) August 26, 2021

Pentagon says suicide bomber was probably being searched when bomb was detonated

The Pentagon said the "working assumption" is that a suicide bomber was going through or near the airport gate being searched when the bomb was detonated, but the investigation is still ongoing.

At this point, General Kenneth McKenzie said there was one suicide bomber at the airport but could not confirm if the bomber was a female or male. He also is unsure of the blast radius of the bomb and how it was able to kill so many U.S. service members.

McKenzie added that there "was a failure somewhere" that allowed the bomber to go through the Taliban checkpoints to the U.S. Marines where the bomb was set off.

At Least 60 Afghans Killed, 143 Wounded in Attacks, Afghan Official Says

An Afghan official said at least 60 Afghans were killed in Thursday's attack, while 143 were injured, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. officials have confirmed at least 12 U.S. service members were also killed, according to the AP.

Pentagon says there is still a "very real" threat from ISIS

The U.S. will continue its evacuation mission in Afghanistan despite the attacks on the Kabul airport, the Pentagon said.

General McKenzie said that there is still a "real" and "imminent" threat from ISIS-K.

Such threats could be from rockets, gunfire and suicide attacks, General McKenzie said.

"We believe it is their desire to continue those attacks and we expect those attacks to continue," he said.

However, he said ISIS "will not deter us from continuing the mission."

General McKenzie added that the U.S. is working to determine who is responsible for the attack.

"If we can find who's associated with this, we will go after them," he said.

12 U.S. service members killed, 15 wounded in Kabul airport attack, Pentagon confirms

The Pentagon confirmed that 12 U.S. service members were killed and 15 were wounded in the attacks at the Kabul airport Thursday.

During a press briefing Thursday, Marine Corps General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr. said that there were two suicide bombers and a gunmen who fired into the crowd.

11 Marines, Navy Medic Killed in Afghanistan Attacks, 2 U.S. Officials Say

Two U.S. officials reported that 11 Marines and a Navy medic are among those killed in Thursday's Afghanistan attacks, the Associated Press reported.

U.S. Must 'Redouble' Evacuation Efforts After Attack, Rep. Ilhan Omar Tweets

Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar tweeted Thursday that the attacks outside of the Kabul airport were "horrific," yet "another reminder of the terror the people of Afghanistan continue to face."

"Now is the time to redouble our evacuation efforts and do everything we can to get people out who are most at risk," she said in the tweet.

Today's terrorist attack on Afghans and U.S. service members was horrific, yet another reminder of the terror the people of Afghanistan continue to face.

Now is the time to redouble our evacuation efforts and do everything we can to get people out who are most at risk.

— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) August 26, 2021

Kevin McCarthy Calls for 'Decisive Action' from Biden After 'Horrific' Kabul Attacks

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy released a statement Thursday calling on President Joe Biden to take "decisive action" to protect American troops after the Kabul attacks that killed a number of U.S. service members. He urged the president to protect U.S. troops, citizens and allies "without regard for an arbitrary deadline," in reference to the Aug. 31 limit for U.S. evacuations and withdrawal.

"Today's attacks are horrific. My prayers go out to those who were injured and the families of those who were killed. I also continue to pray for the safety of our troops, the stranded American citizens, our allies and Afghan partners who remain in the area. Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of the withdrawal," the statement said.

McCarthy also addressed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, requesting that she end a Congressional recess before Aug. 31 so that members of Congress "can be briefed thoroughly and comprehensively by the Biden Administration and pass Representative [Mike] Gallagher's legislation prohibiting the withdrawal of our troops until every American is out of Afghanistan."

Horrific. Our enemies have taken advantage of the chaotic nature of Biden's withdrawal.

Speaker Pelosi must bring Congress back before Aug 31 so we can be briefed thoroughly by the Administration and prohibit the withdrawal of our troops until every American is safely out.

— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) August 26, 2021

European Union Will Continue to Supprt UN 'Assistance to Vulnerable Afghans,' European Commission President Says

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the European Union would "continue to support the efforts" of the United Nations and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to "provide assistance to vulnerable Afghans."

The UNHCR is an agency of the UN that aids refugees and "forcibly displaced communities" in their resettlement in other countries.

The president earlier on Thursday condemned the attacks outside the Kabul airport, saying that it was "essential to do everything to ensure the safety of people at the airport."

Good exchanges successively with #UNHCR @FilippoGrandi & @UN @antonioguterres on the evolving situation in Afghanistan.
 
The EU will continue to support the efforts by #UNHCR and @UN to provide assistance to vulnerable Afghans. pic.twitter.com/mv7Uymg0GZ

— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) August 26, 2021

U.S. service members killed in attack on Kabul airport, Pentagon confirms

The Pentagon confirms that "a number of U.S service members" were killed in the attacks at the Kabul airport Thursday.

"We can confirm that a number of U.S. service members were killed in today's complex attack at Kabul airport," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said in a statement. "A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack."

Statement on this morning's attack at #HKIA: pic.twitter.com/Qb1DIAJQJU

— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021

Explosion Witnesses Describe Attacks Outside Airport

One witness of Thursday's explosion near Abbey gate, Adam Khan, said that he saw multiple people seemingly injured or killed in the blast, the Associated Press reported.

The second confirmed explosion took place near Baron Hotel, where crowds of people hoping to receive passage out of Afghanistan were instructed to wait before going to the airport.

Paul "Pen" Farthing, who runs an animal shelter in Afghanistan, told Britain's Press Association news agency that he and some of his staff were in a vehicle near the airport when the chaos started.

"All of a sudden we heard gunshots and our vehicle was targeted, had our driver not turned around he would have been shot in the head by a man with an AK-47," Farthing said.

U.K. will continue evacuation operations despite attacks on Kabul airport

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the U.K. will continue evacuation operations out of Kabul despite the attacks on the airport Thursday.

Johnson said the "barbaric" terrorist attack "isn't going to interrupt our progress."

"We are going to get on with this evacuation," he said.

He said that "what this attack shows is the importance of continuing that work in as fast and as efficient manner as possible in the hours that remain to us."

This comes after Johnson chaired an emergency COBR meeting to discuss the explosions at the Kabul airport.

Video shows wounded victims of Kabul attack arriving at a hospital

New video shows injured victims of the explosion outside the Kabul airport arriving at a local hospital.

The Kabul Emergency Hospital had to add extra beds to accommodate wounded victims of the attack, according to Emergency NGO President Rossella Miccio.

"Our hospital in Kabul was already 80 percent full before the explosions. Now we added extra beds to admit wounded people coming from the airport in life-threatening conditions," Micci told Al Jazeera.

Multiple Biden Meetings, White House Briefings Cancelled or Postponed after Kabul Attacks

Various items on the White House schedule for Thursday were cancelled or delayed as President Joe Biden and his administration monitored the situation in Afghanistan.

A 12 p.m. ET press briefing from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was delayed to an unspecified time, as well as Biden's meeting with the Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett. Biden's meeting with Afghan governors and a briefing from the White House COVID-19 Response Team were cancelled.

Kaitlan Collins, a CNN White House correspondent, tweeted that Biden was monitoring the Afghanistan situation in the Situation Room Thursday morning with Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

He has since moved to the Oval Office, Collins tweeted.

President Biden’s entire schedule has been disrupted as he monitors the latest from Kabul. Meeting with Israeli prime minister delayed and virtual meeting with governors was just canceled. The press briefing has alsobeen delayed as officials gather information on the attack.

— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) August 26, 2021

Taliban 'Strongly Condemns' Kabul Attacks, Spokesman Says

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group "strongly condemns" Thursday's attacks outside the Kabul airport and that they were executed in an area under U.S. control, the Associated Press reported.

An anonymous U.S. official previously told the AP that the Islamic State group, which is unrelated to the Taliban, was "definitely believed" to be behind the attacks.

Kabul Emergency Hospital received 60 injured patients, 6 dead on arrival after airport attacks

Kabul Emergency Hospital said it received 60 patients wounded in the airport attack.

The Italian NGO hospital initially said six people were dead on arrival at the Kabul Surgical Center.

"We have activated all mass casualty protocols," the hospital said in a tweet.

🔴 Around 60 patients wounded in airport attack have arrived at our #Kabul Surgical Centre so far. #KabulAirport #Afghanistan

— EMERGENCY (English) (@emergency_ngo) August 26, 2021

Flights Out of Kabul Were Not Halted By Attacks, U.S. Official Says

Airlifts out of the Kabul airport continued despite multiple explosions in the area Thursday, a U.S. official told the Associated Press.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that up to 1,500 Americans might still be seeking evacuation from Afghanistan as the Aug. 31 deadline approaches. Russia's Foreign Ministry said that at least 13 people died and 15 were wounded in the attacks.

European leaders condemn attacks in Kabul, worry about a rise in terrorism

European leaders express their concern to ensure safe evacuations out of Afghanistan and stress the need to prevent a rise in terrorism following the attacks in Kabul.

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that she condemns the attacks and urged the international community to "work closely together to avoid a resurgence of terrorism in Afghanistan and beyond."

European Council President Charles Michel said he was concerned about the attacks.

"We need to ensure the current instability cannot give rise to a resurgence of terrorism," he said in a tweet.

Both leaders emphasized the importance of "securing safe passage to the airport."

Very concerned about news of #Kabul explosion and closely monitoring situation.

My thoughts go out to the victims and their families.

Securing safe passage to the airport remains vital.

We need to ensure the current instability cannot give rise to a resurgence of terrorism.

— Charles Michel (@eucopresident) August 26, 2021

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg also condemns the "horrific terrorist attack" outside of the Kabul airport.

"I strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack outside Kabul airport," he said in a tweet. "My thoughts are with all those affected and their loved ones. Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible."

I strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack outside #Kabul airport. My thoughts are with all those affected and their loved ones. Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible.

— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) August 26, 2021

No Reported UK Military, Government Casualties in Kabul Attacks, Ministry of Defence Says

The UK Ministry of Defense said Thursday that no military or government members in Afghanistan have been reported among the casualties in the attacks outside the Kabul airport.

British Prime Minister will chair an emergency meeting on the Kabul situation later on Thursday, according to several media reports.

UPDATE: There have been no reported UK military or UK Government casualties following the incidents in Kabul.

UK forces are working closely with our partners to provide security and medical assistance.

— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) August 26, 2021

Politicians React to Kabul Bombings on Twitter, Some Blaming Biden

U.S. politicians are reacting to Thursday's attacks outside the Kabul airport on Twitter, many asking fellow Americans to pray for the safety of U.S. troops.

Mitt Romney tweeted that his "heart breaks" for the U.S. military members and Afghan civilians wounded or killed in the explosion. House Republican Whip Steve Scalise also tweeted Thursday asking for prayers "for all of our troops and citizens in Afghanistan right now."

Horrific terrorist attacks outside Kabul airport. My heart breaks for the U.S. servicemembers wounded in the explosion and the innocent Afghan lives lost. I am inspired by the strength and compassion of our troops and pray for their safety.

— Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) August 26, 2021

Others are blaming President Joe Biden for the attacks, including Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sean Parnell.

"It didn't have to be this way," he wrote in a tweet.

All of the horror we are seeing right now in Afghanistan is on @JoeBiden. The panicked surrender. The absurdity of relying on the Taliban to help evac our people. The betrayal of our citizens & our allies. The tragic loss of life.

Everything.

It didn’t have to be this way.

— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) August 26, 2021

Emmanuel Macron says the situation in Kabul has "seriously deteriorated" after attacks at airport

French President Emmanuel Macron said "the situation has seriously deteriorated" in Afghanistan after "several explosions happened in the last hours" outside the Kabul airport.

At a news conference during a visit with the Irish prime minister in Dublin, Macron said "we are facing an extremely tense situation that makes us coordinate obviously with our American allies and call for the utmost caution in a context we don't control."

Macron added that France will try to evacuate French nationals people from allied countries and Afghans from Kabul "as long as the conditions will be met" at the airport.

The French ambassador will leave Afghanistan and continue his work from Paris.

Kabul Explosion 'Definitely Believed to Be' Executed by Islamic State Group, U.S. Official Says

A U.S. official said the attack outside the Kabul airport Thursday is "definitely believed to be" executed by the Islamic State group, the Associated Press reported.

The official, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity, also said that the attack was carried out by two suicide bombers and gunmen. Some U.S. military members were among the wounded, the AP reported.

U.S. and civilian causalities in Kabul airport explosion, Pentagon confirms

Pentagon confirms U.S. and civilian casualties in the explosion outside the Kabul airport.

"We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of U.S. and civilian casualties," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby tweeted.

Kirby also confirmed "at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate."

We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.

— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021

Russian officials say two explosions killed at least 13 people outside Kabul airport, AP reports

According to the Associated Press, Russian officials are reporting that a second explosion went off outside the Kabul airport. The two attacks killed at least 13 people and wounded 15, the AP reports.

U.S. personnel among wounded in explosion at Kabul airport, CNN reports

According to initial reports, some U.S. personnel are among the wounded in the explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Thursday, three US officials told CNN.

Breaking: According to initial reports, there are some US personnel among the wounded in the explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday, according to three US officials and a source familiar with the situation. @CNN reporting

— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) August 26, 2021

Pentagon confirms "unknown number" of casualties following explosion at Kabul airport

The Pentagon confirms "an unknown number" of casualties following an explosion near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport.

We can confirm that the explosion near the Abbey Gate of the Kabul airport has resulted in an unknown number of casualties. We will continue to update.

— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021

U.S. Embassy in Kabul issues security alert after explosion

The U.S Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert urging Americans to leave the Kabul airport and avoid the area in the wake of an explosion and reports of gunfire.

"There has been a large explosion at the airport, and there are reports of gunfire," the alert said.

"U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates at this time," it added. "U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately."

#Afghanistan: There has been a large explosion at the airport, and there are reports of gunfire. U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid airport gates. Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately. https://t.co/q216Qs8GuB pic.twitter.com/wdd3Rtdbse

— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) August 26, 2021

Reports of multiple casualties and injuries after explosion at Kabul airport

Witnesses in Kabul say several people have been killed or wounded in the explosion at the airport, the Associated Press reports.

U.S. officials told Reuters that the explosion appears to be caused by a suicide bomb.

President Biden has been briefed on the explosion outside Kabul airport, a White House official said.

Photos: Casualties from blast near Kabul airport this evening. #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/ZnbQrKf2Yh

— TOLOnews (@TOLOnews) August 26, 2021

Explosion reported at Kabul airport, casualties "unclear" at this time, Pentagon says

There was an explosion at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Thursday, the Pentagon confirms.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby confirmed the reports of an explosion in a tweet and said that "casualties are unclear at this time."

We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can.

— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021

Italian plane was not under attack in Kabul, government source says

There were reports that an Italian military plane came under attack from gunfire minutes after taking off from the Kabul airport Thursday.

A government source now tells Reuters that Afghan forces shot into the air to disperse crowds near the airport and did not fire at the Italian military transport plane.

Earlier, a defense source told Reuters that the C-130 transport carrying Afghan former NATO workers was fired upon as it left the airport.

The plane was not damaged during the incident.

An Italian journalist who was on the flight told Sky 24 TG that the plane was carrying around 100 Afghan civilians when it came under fire moments after it had taken off from the airport.

READ MORE: "Shots Fired at Italian Military Plane Departing Kabul Airport"

U.S. top diplomat in Kabul says security threat at airport is "credible" and "imminent"

Acting U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ross Wilson said the security alert from the U.S. Embassy was credible and urgent, but could not discuss specific details.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul sent an alert late Wednesday night advising citizens to avoid traveling to the Kabul airport unless specifically instructed to do so due to a "security threat outside the gates."

"It was clearly regarded as credible, as imminent, as compelling," he said during an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America" Thursday.

"Our intention was to urge Americans and frankly others not to come to the airport," he said.

Wilson said the U.S. is working on ways to assist Americans in "getting to the airport in a safe and secure manner."

"Being part of these huge crowds that remain around the gates, entrances to the airport, is dangerous. We're obviously concerned about our own people as well," he added.

U.S. evacuated over 13,000 people from Kabul in last 24 hours

The United States evacuated about 13,400 people from Afghanistan in the last 24 hours, the White House said.

About 5,100 people were evacuated on 17 U.S. military flights and about 8,300 people were evacuated on 74 coalition aircraft.

Since the end of July, the U.S. has relocated about 101,300 people.

Canada ends evacuation mission in Kabul

Canada has ended its evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.

About 3,700 people out of Kabul, according to acting Chief of Defence Staff General Wayne Eyre. Only a small group of troops remain on the ground.

"We stayed in Afghanistan for as long as we could," Eyre said. "We were amongst the last to cease evacuation operations. We wish we could have stayed longer and rescued everyone who was so desperate to leave. That we could not is truly heartbreaking, but the circumstances on the ground rapidly deteriorated."

Eyre said the United States is not to blame for not extending the evacuation deadline, but that "the Taliban are the ones who are inflicting the pain on Afghans."

Several nations tell citizens to avoid Kabul airport amid terrorist threat

Following the U.S. Embassy's alert urging citizens to avoid the Kaul airport due to a security threat, several other countries are issuing similar warnings Thursday.

The British government told its citizens in Afghanistan to stay away from the Kabul airport amid an "ongoing and high threat" of a terrorist attack.

The Foreign Office says anyone in the area of the airport should "move away to a safe location and await further advice."

British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told BBC Radio Thursday morning that there is "very credible reporting of an imminent attack."

"People should not come to Kabul Airport, they should move to a safe place and await further instructions," he said.

"I can only say that the threat is severe," he added. "We will do our best to protect those who are there."

Australia and New Zealand have followed Britain's advisement.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne told citizens to avoid Kabul airport because of a "very high threat of a terrorist attack."

"It remains a highly dangerous environment," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that a credible threat of a suicide bomber led to the decision to end evacuation operations from the Kabul airport.

"The situation deteriorated significantly, we received information from American sources and from other countries that there was an imminent suicide bomb attack in the area of the airport," De Croo said during a news conference.

"This information prompted us to engage in a great deal of contact with our allies and ultimately cease all flights from Kabul to Islamabad," he added.

Boris Johnson claims 'overwhelming majority' of eligible evacuees airlifted from Afghanistan

Britain's prime minister told reporters the around 15,000 people have left Kabul's airport on Royal Air Force flights during a visit to a military base in London.

He said that "in the time we have left, which may be -- as I'm sure everybody can appreciate -- quite short, we'll do everything we can to get everybody else".

Former British soldier pleads with Taliban

A former Royal Marine who runs an animal charity in Afghanistan said Thursday that he, his Afghan staff and dozens of dogs and cats are stuck outside Kabul's airport as they try to get a flight out of the country before evacuation efforts end.

Paul "Pen" Farthing appealed to the Taliban to allow the group safe passage into the airport. He tweeted to Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen that "we have been here for 10 hours after being assured that we would have safe passage. Truly would like to go home now."

Farthing has been pressing for days to get staff of his Nowzad charity out of Afghanistan, along with the group's rescued animals.

Journalist 'beaten by the Taliban' while reporting in Kabul

Ziar Yaad, a reporter for TOLOnews - one of Afghanistan's biggest media organizations - claims he was hit "at gunpoint" by fighters from the militant group and had his equipment "hijacked".

He confirmed the issue has been raised with Taliban leaders but the fighter(s) involved had not yet been arrested.

I still don't know why they behaved like that and suddenly attacked me. The issue has been shared with Taliban leaders; however, the perpetrators have not yet been arrested, which is a serious threat to freedom of expression.

— Ziar Khan Yaad (@ziaryaad) August 26, 2021

Wisconsin expected to take up to 10,000 Afghan refugees

Hundreds arrived at Fort McCoy in the state earlier this week and Republican Senator Ron Johnson confirmed that thousands more could be housed in the base in the coming week.

Located about 40 miles east of La Crosse, the base is one of three military installations nationwide that has been processing people evacuated from the country.

Johnson visited Fort McCoy alongside colleagues and some military veterans. Democratic Governor Tony Evers was also there on a separate trip and met with some of the refugees, General Glen VanHerck and Major General Paul Knapp, the leader of the Wisconsin National Guard.

Private jet with U.S. members of congress 'denied permission to land in Kabul' - reports

A private jet thought to be carrying another US congressional delegation has been denied permission to land at Kabul airport, reports from CNN suggest.

It remains unclear which representative was on the jet, which could be seen flying between southern Europe and Asia earlier today.

It follows two congressmen - Democrat Seth Moulton and Republican Peter Meijer - traveling to the Afghan capital secretly to oversee the U.S. evacuation operation.

The surprise trip, which led to U.S. troops leaving their evacuation duties to provide protection to the pair, prompted criticism from the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Poland says it halted Kabul evacuations 'so that the U.S. could meet August 31 target'

Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz confirmed just now that the country left to make way for American planes, suggesting the only way for the U.S. to meet its deadlines is for all others to leave first.

Przydacz said that some countries have not yet evacuated all their citizens and associates and for this reason they were continuing their evacuation missions.

But Poland has met its evacuation goals and ended its mission.

'Extremely quickly deteriorating situation': Netherlands pulling troops out of Kabul's airport

The Dutch government has just announced it will be fully withdrawing from the facility after reports of an imminent terror attack and being told to leave by the U.S.

Foreign and defense ministers say that "the Netherlands has been told by the United States to leave today and will most likely carry out its last flight later today".

They add that "in light of the extremely quickly deteriorating situation in and around the airport, evacuees can no longer be assisted by the Netherlands to get access to the airport".

It is unclear if any contingency plans are in place.

What is ISIS-K?

The group is a self-proclaimed Southeast Asian split-off faction of the notorious terrorist group ISIS.

Its full name is Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province but goes by multiple names - ISK, ISISK, IS-KP, ISIS-K or Daesh-Khorasan.

The group is known for being particularly extreme, and an enemy of both Western and Taliban forces. ISIS denies any connection to the group.

Americans and Afghans turned away from Kabul's airport

Afghans and Americans eligible for a U.S. airlift claim they are being turned away from Kabul's airport by U.S. forces controlling the gates, the Associated Press reports.

Though U.S. officials said Wednesday the emergency operation will continue to take people out of the Taliban-controlled country until the August 31 deadline, groups supporting refugees described a "chaotic and minimal" evacuation effort.

Around 1,000 Americans still 'seeking to leave Afghanistan' - White House

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken confirmed last night that the U.S. embassy in Kabul is "aggressively reach out" to hundreds of Americans still looking to escape the country despite being told to leave the airport.

For the remaining roughly 1,000 contacts that we had who may be Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan, we are aggressively reaching out to them multiple times a day through multiple channels of communication – phone, email, text messaging – to determine whether they still want to leave and to get the most up-to-date information and instructions to them for how to do so. Some may no longer be in the country. Some may have claimed to be Americans but turn out not to be. Some may choose to stay. We'll continue to try to identify the status and plans of these people in the coming days.

Good morning and welcome to Newsweek's liveblog

Tension is mounting at Kabul's airport after reports of an imminent terror attack on the facility.

Countries are now decided whether to continue evacuation flights, with several announcing pauses or completely withdrawals and leaving thousands stuck in a Afghanistan under Taliban control.

Follow Newsweek's liveblog throughout Thursday for all the latest.