Taliban kill ISIS-K leader behind Kabul airport bombing

Thirteen American soldiers and 170 Afghans were killed in Abbey Gate attack during chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal

Abbey Gate outside Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 26, 2021, after a suicide bombing.  AP
Powered by automated translation

The Taliban have killed an ISIS militant who was the “mastermind” behind a suicide bombing at Kabul airport in 2021 that killed 13 American troops and scores of civilians, US officials said on Tuesday.

The bombing, claimed by ISIS-Khorasan Province — an enemy of the Taliban — occurred on August 26, 2021, as US troops tried to help their fellow citizens as well as Afghans to flee the country following the Taliban takeover.

The attack compounded America's sense of defeat after 20 years of war.

“He was a key ISIS-K official directly involved in plotting operations like Abbey Gate, and now is no longer able to plot or conduct attacks,” White House spokesman John Kirby said in a statement, referring to the Abbey Gate entrance to the Kabul airport where the blast occurred.

He did not name the official.

The blast came hours after western officials had warned of a potential major attack, urging people to leave the airport. But that advice went largely unheeded by Afghans desperate to escape the country.

About 170 Afghans were killed.

At the weekend, the US military began to inform the families of the 11 marines, the sailor and the soldier killed at the airport about the death of the ISIS-K official.

News agencies contributed to this report

Updated: April 25, 2023, 11:24 PM