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Evacuation flights resume in Kabul after deadly blasts

Kabul residents said several flights took off Friday morning

AP | KABUL |

Evacuation flights from Afghanistan have resumed with new urgency a day after two suicide bombings targeted the thousands of desperate people fleeing the Taliban takeover.

The U.S. says further attempted attacks are expected ahead of the Tuesday deadline for foreign troops to leave, ending America’s longest war.

Kabul residents said several flights took off Friday morning.

Thursday’s bombings near Kabul’s international airport killed at least 60 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops, Afghan and U.S. officials said, in the deadliest day for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.

In an emotional speech, President Joe Biden blamed the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate, far more radical than the Taliban militants who seized power less than two weeks ago.

Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport Thursday, transforming a scene of desperation into one of horror in the waning days of an airlift for those fleeing the Taliban takeover.

The blasts came hours after Western officials warned of a major attack, urging people to leave the airport. But Afghans largely defied the advice and continued their desperate attempts to escape the country in the last few days of the US-led evacuation which ends on 31 August.

In an emotional speech from the White House, US President Joe Biden said the latest bloodshed would not drive the US out of Afghanistan earlier than scheduled, and that he had instructed the US military to develop plans to strike IS.