“I am an Afghan who worked for the United States Marine Corps and I was ready to go and get close to the airport and get on a plane and get out of here,” the man, identified only as “Carl,” told “America’s Newsroom.”
Carl said there was an “explosion that happened inside the crowd.”
“A lot of people got hurt and I got a baby girl. She was five years old, she died right in my hand. I don’t know what is going on over there, but I think some of the Americans got hurt, too,” he said.
A suicide bomb attack outside the Abbey Gate at Kabul’s airport in Afghanistan Thursday injured at least three U.S. Marines, U.S. officials told Fox News, as the Pentagon confirmed a second blast at a nearby hotel where Americans had previously sheltered.
A U.S. official said the terror attack set off a firefight at Abbey Gate, where last night there were 5,000 Afghans and potentially some Americans seeking access to the airport to flee.
The Pentagon confirmed the initial explosion as well as a second explosion at the Baron Hotel, where Americans have gathered in the past for rescue and evacuation. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday had said that up to 1,500 Americans may still be in the country.
“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,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby tweeted. “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.”
Carl said that he tried to help the little girl.
“She was not my baby girl. She was somebody else’s girl. I saw her on the ground and I picked her up and took her to the hospital but she died right in my hands at that time,” Carl said.
In another phone interview from Kabul, “Bill” said that “word has been out for the last few days that ISIS was planning” an attack.
He said the huge crowd outside the airport appeared to be a “perfect scenario for a suicide bombing and would just cause mayhem.”
“You can imagine thousands of people packed into a small tiny area loaded with luggage. One person with luggage full of explosions can cause mayhem. And, unfortunately, this happened this afternoon,” he said.
It was not clear the extent of the injuries suffered by the troops, and how many others were hurt in the large crowds that regularly gathered at the airport seeking to flee the Taliban.
The Taliban had moved quickly through the country ahead of the planned U.S. withdrawal at the end of the month, catching the U.S. off guard and leading to chaotic scenes at Kabul airport and a mass evacuation effort. As of Wednesday, 82,300 people had been flown out, including 4,500 U.S. citizens.