Referring to “very clear intelligence” and warning against further attacks, Australian Defense Minister Peter Dutton said on Friday that all Australian soldiers who were still in Afghanistan left the country the day before the double Deadly suicide bombing Thursday at Kabul airport.
At least thirteen American soldiers were killed and eighteen wounded in this kamikaze attack claimed by the jihadist group Islamic State carried out near the airport of the Afghan capital where thousands of people are massed hoping to flee the country after the capture of power of the Taliban. The Taliban regime has recorded up to twenty dead and 52 wounded.
A “post-evacuation phase”
“We were able to secure the departure of the remaining Australian staff during the last night, shortly before the terrible events of that night took place,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday. of a press conference. Scott Morrison said that for nine days, with the help of US and British forces, Australian troops helped evacuate some 4,100 people, including 3,200 Australians and Afghan citizens on Australian visas. The Prime Minister said Australia has completed its evacuation operations and has entered a “post-evacuation phase”.
“There was very clear information that ISKP (Islamic State Khorasan Province) intended to hit and hit hard, and they did,” Australian Defense Minister Peter said on Friday. Dutton, on the Nine Network television channel. “These people are even more extreme than the Taliban and are at war with the Taliban. Therefore, it is a terribly complex situation, ”he added, specifying that text messages had been sent to Australians present in Afghanistan to warn them against the threat of an attack near the airport.
“I am really happy and relieved that our soldiers left Kabul and that we made the decision to evacuate yesterday (Thursday) our last nationals, who are now safe in the United Arab Emirates”, underlined the minister. However, he warned against new attacks, urging the population “to avoid gatherings and public places”.
More than 100,000 people evacuated
Australia has deployed 39,000 troops over the 20 years it has participated in US-NATO-led operations in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.
More than 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14, the eve of the Taliban’s return to power, a White House official said on Thursday. “As we have seen in recent hours and as intelligence continues to indicate, more attacks are likely. People should avoid gatherings. They should avoid public places. And they should pay attention to their safety in these warlike conditions, ”continued Peter Dutton, lamenting the deaths caused by the double suicide bombing especially those of the American soldiers who aided Australians and visa holders for l island-continent to rally Kabul airport for their evacuation. “Everyone is devastated by this,” he said.