Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) condemned President Joe Biden as an “unfit” leader who “has blood on his hands” after two bombings in Kabul, Afghanistan, killed at least 13 people, including children and U.S. citizens.
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Joe Biden has blood on his hands.
The buck stops with the President of the United States.
This horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is solely the result of Joe Biden’s weak and incompetent leadership. He is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.
— Elise Stefanik (@EliseStefanik) August 26, 2021
“Joe Biden has blood on his hands. The buck stops with the President of the United States,” Stefanik, chair of the House Republican Conference, said in a tweet on Thursday.
“This horrific national security and humanitarian disaster is solely he result of Joe Biden’s weak and incompetent leadership. He is unfit to be Commander-in-Chief,” she continued.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby confirmed an explosion occurred near the Abbey Gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport, where thousands of people have been congregating in the hopes of escaping Afghanistan by August 31. Another explosion happened near the Baron Hotel, which is near the Abbey Gate. U.S. officials told Reuters at least one of the bombings is believed to be a suicide bombing.
We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate. We will continue to update.
— John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 26, 2021
Kirby said the bombings resulted in “a number” of U.S. and civilian casualties, but he did not give a specific number. A Taliban official told Reuters that at least 13 people have died, including children, and local media is reporting that at least 52 people were injured.
Fox News reported four of the casualties were U.S. Marines and that three other U.S. Marines were wounded.
The Afghan broadcaster 1TV News published photos of civilians using wheelbarrows to tend to the injured and people fleeing the scene covered in blood.
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In Pictures: People injured in explosion near Kabul airport pic.twitter.com/WQ8sdjvODG
— 1TVNewsAF (@1TVNewsAF) August 26, 2021
Biden has reportedly been in the Situation Room all morning receiving updates on the bombings and the situation on the ground in Kabul. He also postponed his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul told citizens in an alert on Wednesday to “avoid traveling to the airport” and said those already at the gates should leave immediately, citing unspecified “security threats,” according to Reuters.
British Armed Forces Minister James Heappey also told BBC radio intelligence about a possible suicide bomb attack by Islamic State militants had become “much firmer.”
Despite warnings, thousands of people have been gathering outside the airport in the hopes of escaping Afghanistan before August 31, when U.S. troops are expected to fully withdraw. Despite pleas from the international community, Biden has refused to change the withdrawal date and now risks leaving Americans behind enemy lines.
There are at least approximately 1,500 American citizens believed to be still in Afghanistan, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.