Photos: Afghans Use Wheelbarrows to Tend to Bomb Victims at Kabul Airport

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / TOPSHOT - Wounded women arrive at a hospital for treatment after two blasts, which killed at least five and wounded a dozen, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images

Afghan media published harrowing images on Thursday of the immediate aftermath of at least one bombing at Kabul’s international airport, showing bloodied victims carried to the closest airport on wheelbarrows and panicked civilians swarming the capital’s Emergency Hospital.

At least one explosion occurred at the airport – surrounded by as many as tens of thousands of people, according to some estimates – around noon local time on Thursday. According to the Afghan news network Tolo News, eyewitnesses identified the bomb as coming from someone within a crowd of Afghan civilians, indicating a potential suicide bombing. Given the high number of Afghan nationals at the Baron Hotel gate where the blast reportedly occurred, the target of at least the one confirmed bombing appeared to be locals.

The Afghan news network Pajhwok reported that “two back-to-back explosions” had occurred, claiming a second followed the first an hour later but did not elaborate on the report. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby did specify in a message on Twitter that the U.S. government could confirm two explosions and casualties among American citizens.

1TV News, another Afghan outlet, confirmed at least 13 dead on Thursday, identifying children among the victims. It noted that Taliban jihadists had confirmed several casualties among their own terrorist forces. At Emergency Hospital, the closest medical facility to the attack site, 1TV News confirmed over 30 victims had arrived, among them six who died upon arriving to the hospital.

Tolo News published images from the outside of Emergency Hospital showing the desperation of those trying to get in. Victims appeared to be arriving in small vans. Some of them appeared to be walking, while men carried others inside.

Later in the day, Tolo obtained images of the immediate aftermath of the explosion. The detonation appeared to occur in an area flooded with sewage, where at least hundreds of Afghans congregated in an attempt to enter the airport after Taliban leaders announced a ban on Afghan nationals entering the airport on Tuesday. Many unconscious, potentially dead bodies appear to be lying in sewage.

Warning – Graphic images: 

Pajhwok published images of men attempting to care for the wounded. The photos show bloodied victims in wheelbarrows pushed by others. The victims appeared in varying states of consciousness.

Warning – Graphic Images:

As dusk fell on Kabul, emergency workers increased their efforts to get all the wounded out of the airport. Many appeared to be carted off on stretchers but put in cars or vans that did not appear to be official emergency vehicles; some appeared to be taxis. Some of the wounded did not appear to be clearly conscious, while others were standing, sobbing, covered in blood.

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Medical and hospital staff bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatment after two blasts, which killed at least five and wounded a dozen, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Medical and hospital staff bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatment after two blasts, which killed at least five and wounded a dozen, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

TOPSHOT - Medical and hospital staff carry an injured man out of a car for treatment after two blasts, which killed at least five and wounded a dozen, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Medical and hospital staff carry an injured man out of a car for treatment after two blasts, which killed at least five and wounded a dozen, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / Volunteers and medical staff bring an injured man for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Volunteers and medical staff bring an injured man for treatment after two powerful explosions, which killed at least six people, outside the airport in Kabul on August 26, 2021. (WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

No terrorist organization has taken responsibility for the attack at press time. The Taliban, now the ruling power of Afghanistan, has denied involvement and claimed its own casualties in the assault.

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