Details have emerged on how the suicide bombing at the entrance of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul was executed.
The attack which left several people dead including US was the latest blow to an already worsening situation in the troubled country under the rule of Taliban.
United States Marines and other service members manning the airport had been tipped of credible reports that they could be targeted in an attack; just the day before.
The American State Department had warned of a “credible” threat at three gates at the airport.
At the center of the attack was the scene from where more than 5,000 American troops had helped to evacuate more than 100,000 people in less than two weeks.
US officials recounted that Airport security had closed two of the gates, but decided to leave Abbey Gate open and this is where the attack happened.
It emerged that the day was a busy one as Taliban soldiers manning the road leading to the airport had repulsed crowds that were surging demanding to access the airport and possible leaving the country on at least two occasions.
“That third time, someone else came with them. At 5:48 p.m., the bomber, wearing a 25-pound explosive vest under clothing, walked up to the group of Americans who were frisking people hoping to enter the complex.
“He waited, officials said, until just before he was about to be searched by the American troops, and then he detonated the bomb.
“The bomb was unusually large for a suicide vest, killing himself and igniting an attack that would leave dozens of people dead, at least 170 civilians and soldiers.” Reads an excerpt from an international journalist who covered the attack.
At 11 kilograms, the vest worn by the suicide bomber did untold damage. According to Army manuals, suicide bombers typically wear either a belt containing four kilograms or less of explosives, or a vest packed with four to nine kilograms of explosives.
This was followed by heavy fire with U.S. Defense Department officials stating that fighters nearby began firing weapons.
The officials said that some of the Americans and Afghans at Abbey Gate might have been hit by that gunfire.
“There was so much confusion in the aftermath of the explosion that the military initially reported that a second suicide bombing had taken place at nearby Baron Hotel.” Added the publication.
That U.S. military forces conducted their first reprisal strike in Afghanistan since the attack on Friday.
“An over-the-horizon counterterrorism operation” in the Nangarhar Province “against an ISIS-K planner,” said Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman for U.S. Central Command, referring to the Afghan affiliate of the Islamic State that claimed responsibility for Thursday’s attack.
“Initial indications are that we killed the target,” he said. “We know of no civilian casualties.”