Here are the latest developments in Afghanistan as of Friday:
- U.S. military launches drone strike, targeting a member of an IS Afghan affiliate group. One person is killed in the U.S. drone strike. The person is believed to have been responsible for planning deadly attacks on the U.S. in Kabul. It was not immediately clear whether the target was involved in Thursday’s deadly attack outside Kabul airport. The strike was launched less than 48 hours after the Kabul airport attack.
- The U.S. Embassy urges U.S. citizens not to come to the Kabul airport because of security threats and to leave immediately if they were near any of four gates to the airport, according to a statement on the State Department’s website.
- “There doesn’t appear to be any concerted effort to get SIVs [Special Immigrant Visa holders] out at this point,” a State Department official told VOA from Hamid Karzai International Airport. But the department is still trying to evacuate local embassy staff, U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.
- U.S. Army General Hank Taylor said Friday a single suicide bomber, not two as previously believed, carried out Thursday’s attack.
- Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. believes there are other “specific credible” threats against Kabul airport.
- Despite the risks, crowds of people desperate to leave Afghanistan gathered outside Kabul’s airport early Friday as evacuation flights resumed.
- A VOA reporter who visited the area outside the airport later in the day saw mostly empty streets, with Taliban security blocking access to nearby streets.
- About 106,000 people have left Afghanistan on evacuation flights since Aug. 14, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul.
- Taylor said some gates to the airport have been closed, but U.S. personnel continue to process for departure American citizens, SIV applicants and vulnerable Afghans who have the proper credentials.
(This story has been published from Voice of America feed without modifications to the text)