Current track

Title

Artist

Current show

Non-Stop HMR!

06:00 19:00


A day of violence in Kabul: How the attacks unfolded

Written by on 26/08/2021

At least 73 people, including 13 US servicemen, have been killed in blasts outside and nearby Kabul’s Hamid Khazai International Airport in a coordinated suicide attack.

It comes hours after Western governments warned of an imminent terror attack and urged civilians not to travel to the airport.

The area around one of the blasts had been packed with thousands of families hoping to board military flights bound for the West in a desperate bid to flee Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power nearly two weeks ago.

Two explosions near to Kabul airport are thought to have killed tens of civilians and US soldiers.
Image: Two explosions near to Kabul airport are thought to have killed tens of civilians and US soldiers.

5.58pm (Kabul time)

Initial reports of a large explosion near Kabul airport begin to emerge.

Reporting differs, with two possible locations named: the airport’s Abbey Gate and the Baron Hotel.

Situated on the south of the airfield, Abbey Gate is one of five entrances to the airfield.

More on Data And Forensics

Abbey Gate is one of five entrances to the airfield, where military flights have been evacuating civilians to the West.
Image: Abbey Gate is one of five entrances to the airfield, where military flights have been evacuating civilians to the West.

The surrounding areas have been overrun in recent days with desperate families hoping to board evacuation flights to escape Taliban rule.

France’s ambassador to Afghanistan, David Martinon, shared these images of French embassy staff and soldiers among tens of Afghan civilians at the entrance just a day earlier.

The other location mentioned, the Baron Hotel, is situated a short distance away.

British officials had been using the hotel as a centre for processing the visas of Afghan people hoping to be brought to the UK

The Baron Hotel is a high-security residence that is being used by foreign officials to process the visas of Afghans hoping to escape Taliban rule.
Image: The Baron Hotel is a high-security residence that is being used by foreign officials to process the visas of Afghans hoping to escape Taliban rule.

6.25pm (Kabul time)

The French ambassador urges anyone around the airport to leave and take cover, stating that a “second explosion is possible”.

Images of injured civilians wandering the streets in bloodied clothes begin to circulate, alongside a flurry of old pictures from previous attacks.

Shortly after, as the situation on the ground becomes clearer, reports of a second explosion spread.

7.06pm (Kabul time)

Confirmation comes that there were two blasts, with British defence sources telling Sky News that the first happened near the Baron Hotel, followed by a second at the Abbey Gate entrance to the airfield.

7.27pm (Kabul time)

The Pentagon confirms civilian and US casualties resulting from a planned attack. It was later revealed that the attack on the Abbey Gate was followed by a number gunmen firing on civilians and US military.

10:26pm (Kabul time)

Late into the evening, officials confirmed the number of lives thought to be lost in the brutal attacks.

At least 60 Afghan civilians and 13 US servicemen were killed.

Sky News’ Chief Correspondent Stuart Ramsay was told that one target was a sewage canal where scores of desperate Afghans have been waiting to somehow enter the complex in the hope of getting on an evacuation flight.

It marks another tragic day in Kabul’s painful recent history.

An acclaimed Afghan journalist who escaped through the airport just days earlier said:

The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.

Why data journalism matters to Sky News

 Sky News

© Sky News 2020

Tagged as