A suicide bombing by Islamic State’s Afghanistan affiliate outside Kabul’s airport in Afghanistan* killed nearly 90 Afghan civilians and U.S. soldiers and injured about 150 people. We strongly condemn the barbaric terrorist attack aimed at the evacuation of refugees.
On Aug. 26, the explosion at the entrance of Kabul‘s airport and the hotel where the refugees were staying turned the scene into hell. The world was shocked by the broadcast footage of the scene of pandemonium, where the bloody bodies of many innocent civilians, including children, were scattered everywhere, and the hospital was full of injured people.
The group known as Islamic State Khorasan, which committed the terror attack, is an Afghan branch of the Islamic State group, notorious for its brutal violence in Iraq and Syria a few years ago. While the group is linked to some hard-liners in the Taliban, it is the most extreme terrorist group, which denounces the Taliban, who signed a peace agreement with the United States, as traitors and insists upon a hostile confrontation with the United States. In recent years, it has brutally killed students, pregnant women and nurses by attacking girls’ schools and hospitals. The terrorist attack demonstrated that there are various extremists in Afghanistan aside from the Taliban, and if the situation in Afghanistan does not stabilize, there is a high risk of it becoming a stronghold for them.
Soon after the airport attack, U.S. President Joe Biden spoke at the White House, “We will not forgive, we will not forget,” and added, “We will hunt you down and make you pay.” The terrorist attack further complicated the situation in Afghanistan and raised the need for global cooperation to ensure stability in the country.
Most of all, each nation should do its best to safely complete the withdrawal of its people and helpers in this urgent situation where more terrorist attacks are likely to occur. Moreover, the United Nations and the international community should work together to ensure that Afghanistan does not become a lawless place for extremists and that the Afghan people have a stable future. In particular, nations such as the United States and China should show that they will be responsible for peace and stability in Afghanistan instead of measuring their gains and losses. The Taliban should also show their commitment to respecting the rights of women and other Afghans by repudiating the Islamic State group and al-Qaida. Only then should the government gain international recognition and support.
*Editor’s note: The name of the airport in Kabul is the Hamid Karzai International Airport.