A suspected rocket blast in Kabul Sunday hours after US President Joe Biden warned of another terror attack added to frayed nerves in the capital as a massive airlift of tens of thousands of Afghans entered its last days.
About 114,000 people have fled the country via a US-led evacuation since the Taliban swept back into power two weeks ago, and the operation is winding down despite Western powers saying thousands may be left behind.
What had already been a chaotic and desperate operation turned bloody on Thursday when a suicide bomber from the local chapter of the Islamic State group targeted US troops stopping huge crowds of people from entering the airport.
More than 100 people died in the attack, including 13 US service personnel, slowing down the airlift ahead of Biden’s deadline for evacuations to end by Tuesday.
The Pentagon said Saturday that retaliation drone strikes had killed two “high-level” IS jihadists in eastern Afghanistan, but Biden warned of more attacks from the group.
“The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high,” Biden said.
Late Sunday afternoon, a loud blast was heard coming from the north of the city which a security official in the toppled government said was a rocket hitting a house.
Further details were not immediately available.
In recent years, the Islamic State’s Afghanistan-Pakistan chapter has been responsible for some of the deadliest attacks in those countries.
They have massacred civilians at mosques, public squares, schools, and even hospitals.
While both IS and the Taliban are hardline Sunni Islamists, they are bitter foes — with each claiming to be the true flag-bearers of jihad