The US State Department is urging all Americans in the vicinity of Afghanistan’s Kabul airport to leave the area immediately because of a specific, credible threat. The warning early Sunday morning says US citizens should avoid traveling to the airport and avoid all airport gates at this time.
“Due to a specific, credible threat, all U.S. citizens in the vicinity of Kabul airport (HKIA), including the South (Airport Circle) gate, the new Ministry of the Interior, and the gate near the Panjshir Petrol station on the northwest side of the airport should leave the airport area immediately,” the US embassy said in a security alert on Saturday (local time).
On Friday, the White House admitted there was clearly a breakdown in the security process that failed to prevent this week’s suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, which left scores dead, including 13 US troops.
Earlier, the British and Australian governments issued similar warnings, with Australian officials describing “an ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack.”
Marise Payne, Australia’s Foreign Minister, said at a news conference Thursday that the Taliban will allow Australian citizens and visa holders to leave safely but added, “Our travel advice remains: You should not come to Hamid Karzai airport because it is not safe to do so, and if you are in Kabul, you should shelter in place, move to a safe location and await further advice.”
Thousands of Afghan nationals are camped outside the perimeter of the airport in desperate attempts to escape on the last flights out after the takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban.
A suicide bombing at the airport on Thursday killed at least 169 Afghans and 13 US service members.