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More attacks feared in Kabul airport

US vows to avenge US deaths; Taliban plan inclusive caretaker admin

Published : 27 Aug 2021 09:27 PM | Updated : 28 Aug 2021 01:47 AM

Western powers, including the United States, fear more attacks on Kabul airport in Afghanistan after an Islamic State suicide bomber killed 85 people just outside the international airport with the Taliban planning an inclusive caretaker government to run the war-torn central Asian country.

US forces helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee new Taliban rule were on alert for more attacks on Friday after the Thursday attack which took the lives of 13 US service members too.

General Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, said US commanders were watching for more attacks by Islamic State, including possibly rockets or car bombs targeting the airport.

“We’re doing everything we can to be prepared,” Reuters quoted him as saying. The general said some intelligence was being shared with the Taliban and that he believed “some attacks have been thwarted by them.”

US forces are racing to complete their withdrawal from Afghanistan by an August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden. 

The president said the United States long ago achieved its original rationale for invading the country in 2001: to root out al Qaeda militants and prevent a repeat of the September 11 attacks on the United States that year.

He said he had ordered the Pentagon to plan how to strike ISIS-K, the Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan that claimed responsibility of the attack outside Kabul airport.

"We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down here and make you pay," Biden said during televised comments from the White House.

Meanwhile, the Taliban says they are planning an inclusive caretaker government in Afghanistan after the group toppled the Western-backed administration in a stunning sweep earlier this month.

Quoting Taliban sources, Al Jazeera said the caretaker government would include leaders from all ethnicities and tribal backgrounds in the country.

Nearly a dozen names are being considered to be part of the new government, sources said.

The duration of the caretaker government is unclear at the moment.

Afghanistan’s ethnic diversity has been at the centre of politics and conflict in the country, with no single ethnic group enjoying a decisive majority in the country of 40 million people.

The Pashtuns are Afghanistan’s biggest ethnic group, making up more than 42 percent of the population. The predominantly Sunni Muslim community speaks the Pashto language and has dominated Afghan politics since the 18th century.