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Western countries warn that Kabul airport could be target of potential attack amid evacuations

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Posted at 5:11 AM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 07:27:55-04

Western nations Thursday warned of a potential attack at Kabul's airport, where thousands of people have gathered in an attempt to flee Afghanistan ahead of an Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.

According to the Associated Press, Britain warned that an attack could occur "within hours," while Belgium warned that the attack could come in the form of a suicide bombing.

According to Reuters, the security threat comes from ISIS-K — an offshoot of the Islamic State group located in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a sworn enemy of both the West and the Taliban. Over the weekend, intelligence officials confirmed that the group posed a threat as the U.S. continued to evacuate personnel.

On Wednesday evening, the U.S. embassy issued a warning to Americans gathered at the airport, noting that those waiting at gates should "leave immediately."

President Joe Biden addressed the potential threat of an attack at the airport in remarks on Wednesday.

"Every day that we're on the ground is another day that we know ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both the U.S. and allied forces and innocent civilians," Biden said.

With the Aug. 31 deadline looming for the U.S. to totally withdraw troops from America's longest war, several nations have landed flight after flight onto the single runway at Kabul's international airport.

Now some countries have begun to even pull their soldiers and diplomats out, likely signaling the beginning of the end of one of history's largest airlifts.

On Wednesday, Sec. of State Anthony Blinken said that as many 1,500 Americans remained in Afghanistan in the final days of the evacuation. President Joe Biden has promised safe passage home to every American who wishes to return to the U.S., but so far has committed to adhering to the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline.