Where suicide bombers were struck at Kabul airport – .

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Where suicide bombers were struck at Kabul airport – .


This image shows dense crowds of Afghans and American soldiers at a gate outside Kabul airport on Thursday, just hours before two explosions destroyed crowds and killed dozens of people.

KABUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Bodies seen in the canal

outer door

About. site

d’explosions

KABUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Bodies seen in the canal

outer door

About. site

d’explosions

Bodies seen in the canal

outer door

About. site

d’explosions

Bodies seen in the canal

outer door

About. site

d’explosions

KABUL INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

Bodies seen in the canal

outer door

About. site

d’explosions

Image satellite par Planet Labs·By Scott Reinhard

Abbey Gate had been used by US forces last week to screen people trying to flee the country before the US evacuation was stopped. Early Thursday, US officials issued urgent warnings for Americans to stay away from airport entrances due to security threats.

But the gate remained an extraordinarily vulnerable target on Thursday. Even after the warning, thousands of people gathered outside, crammed into a tight space outside the airport walls, some waving papers to document American ties. US forces screened any evacuees.


Akhter Gulfam/EPA, via Shutterstock

At least 13 US soldiers and dozens of Afghans were killed when a man blew himself up near the gate, US defense officials said, and another explosion occurred a few hundred yards away , near the entrance to the Hotel Baron.

Social media images showed dangerously overcrowded conditions outside the gate in the hours leading up to the attacks.

Many people were forced to cross or stand in a knee-deep canal in the narrow area between the exterior wall of the airport and surrounding buildings in the hope of getting closer to the evacuation. The crowds along the canal stretched for hundreds of feet along the airport wall.


Akhter Gulfam/EPA, via Shutterstock

And numerous photos showed those seeking evacuation waded through barbed wire and trash in what many called a “sewer channel.”


Akhter Gulfam/EPA, via Shutterstock

After the attack, videos posted on social media showed more than a dozen people, some dead and others seriously injured, lying in the canal.

“I saw the bodies of women, children and men scattered all over the place after the explosion,” said an Afghan witness, who requested anonymity because he feared for his safety.


Jim Huylebroek for The New York Times

Tens of thousands of Afghans seek to flee the country, fearing to live under the Taliban and be the target of reprisals. Some estimates suggest that hundreds of thousands of interpreters, translators, and others with ties to the US military or US organizations may be eligible for expedited visas.

Even the trip to join the crowds outside the airport has proven treacherous for those determined to leave the country. Getting to the airport often requires passing through Taliban checkpoints, and there is little food and water in the heat and thick crowds outside the airport walls. Some were seriously injured or killed on the way to the airport.

The crowds have gathered

trying to escape the city

The crowds have gathered

trying to escape the city

The crowds have gathered

trying to escape the city

The crowds have gathered

trying to escape the city

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