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Dozens Dead After Kabul Airport Explosion

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

We are continuing to follow the aftermath of two deadly suicide bombings in Kabul today - one at Afghanistan's international airport, the other at a nearby hotel. Gunmen also opened fire near the airport. Both locations were filled with people desperately trying to get out in the final hours of the ongoing evacuation efforts led by the U.S.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The attacks left 13 U.S. troops and at least 60 Afghans dead. Many more were wounded. A terrorist group known as ISIS-K has claimed responsibility for the attack.

KELLY: President Biden delivered remarks from the East Room of the White House this evening. He had this message for those who carried out the attacks.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN: We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay.

CORNISH: And in a press briefing at the Pentagon earlier today, General Kenneth McKenzie, who heads Central Command, said that the U.S.-led evacuation efforts will continue.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

KENNETH MCKENZIE: Let me be clear. While we're saddened by the loss of life, both U.S. and Afghan, we're continuing to execute the mission. Our mission is to evacuate U.S. citizens, third-country nationals, special immigrant visa holders, U.S. embassy staff and Afghans at risk.

KELLY: This is a developing situation. We will continue to update you as we get more information. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.