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August 27, 2021 23 min

For days, many dreaded an attack on Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, as Western forces scrambled to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan. On Thursday, those fears were realized — amid the large crowds outside the airport, terrorists carried out two suicide bombings. The attacks killed at least 60 people, including 13 United States service members.

ISIS-K, a branch of the Islamic State in Afghanistan, has claimed responsibility.

Will these attacks be the effective end of the U.S. evacuation effort and where does this leave the Afghanistan mission?

Guest: Matthieu Aikins, a writer based in Afghanistan for The New York Times. 

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Background reading: 

  • The U.S. and its allies waged war for 20 years to try to defeat terrorists in Afghanistan. A double suicide bombing demonstrated that they remain a threat.
  • A map of where the bombers struck at the airport in Kabul.
  • President Biden said the evacuation of U.S. citizens and allies from Afghanistan would continue, even after the attacks. 
  • For more information on today’s episode, visit nytimes.com/thedaily. Transcripts of each episode will be made available by the next workday. 

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