Wednesday, February 21THE LEGISLATURE

US Drone Strike ‘Eliminates Airport Bomb Threat’ in Kabul

The United States drone strike in the Afghan capital Kabul has prevented another deadly suicide attack at the airport, US military officials said.

The strike targeted a vehicle carrying at least one person associated with the Afghan branch of the Islamic State group, US Central Command said.

The US had warned of possible further attacks as evacuations wind down.

A bomb attack at Kabul airport last Thursday killed as many as 170 people, including 13 US troops.

A regional affiliate of the Islamic State group, IS-K, said it was behind Thursday’s bombing.

In retaliation, the US carried out a drone strike on eastern Afghanistan late on Friday, saying it had killed two “high-profile” IS-K members.

On Sunday, Capt Bill Urban of Central Command said the US had carried out another targeted drone strike aimed at “eliminating an imminent” threat to Kabul airport.

“We are confident we successfully hit the target,” he said, adding: “Secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material.”

There are no reports of civilian casualties, Capt Urban said.

His comments came after multiple reports of a loud explosion heard near Kabul airport. Some images posted on social media showed black clouds of smoke rising into the air above buildings.

US intelligence officials earlier said they had received “specific, credible” threats against the airport, and that the military would continue to carry out targeted strikes where necessary.

The US advised people to stay away from the area, despite time running out for anyone still trying to access evacuation flights.

A deadline for the evacuation mission of 31 August was agreed between the US and the Taliban, who now control most of the country.

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