NBC New York:
Mayor Bill de Blasio says there is no credible threat to New York City in connection with Thursday’s explosions near Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, which Pentagon officials confirm was part of a “complex attack” that claimed an unknown number of U.S. and civilian lives.
Three U.S. Marines were said to have been injured in the explosion at the Abbey Gate of Kabul airport, three U.S. military officials confirmed. The number of casualties, both fatal and otherwise, was expected to rise.
News of the attack broke as de Blasio was taking questions following his daily COVID briefing, throwing evacuation efforts into more turmoil days before President Joe Biden’s deadline for all U.S. forces to withdraw from the country.
The NYPD typically steps up security at high-density or other relevant locations in the city strictly out of an abundance of caution in such cases.
There were at least two confirmed explosions — one at Abbey Gate and one at or near a hotel a short distance away, the Pentagon confirmed.
“We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate,” he said. “We will continue to update.”
Suspicion for any attack targeting the crowds would likely fall on the Islamic State group and not the Taliban, who have been deployed at the airport’s gates trying to control the mass of people.
Several countries urged people to avoid the airport earlier in the day, with one saying there was a threat of a suicide bombing. But just days — or even hours for some nations — before the evacuation effort ends, few appeared to heed the call.
The airport has been the scene this week of some of the most searing images of the chaotic end of America’s longest war and the Taliban’s takeover, as flight after flight took off carrying those who fear a return to the militants’ brutal rule.