A US military aircraft takes off at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday. AP
Suicide bomb threats hung over the final phase of the US military's airlift operation from Kabul on Sunday as US President Joe Biden has vowed to keep up airstrikes against the Daesh group whose suicide bombing at the Kabul airport killed scores of Afghans and 13 American service members.
US President also warning another attack was highly likely before the evacuations end.
What had already been a chaotic and desperate evacuation turned bloody on Thursday when a suicide bomber from the local chapter of the Daesh group targeted US troops stopping huge crowds of people from entering the airport.
This combination of photos shows twelve service members killed in the Kabul airport bombing in Afghanistan. AP
More than 100 people died in the attack, including 13 US service personnel, slowing down the airlift ahead of Biden's deadline for evacuations to end by Tuesday.
More than 112,000 people have fled Afghanistan via the massive US-led evacuation since the Taliban movement swept back into power a fortnight ago, and the operation is winding down despite Western powers saying thousands may be left behind.
The Pentagon said the remaining contingent of US forces at the airport, now numbering fewer than 4,000, had begun their final withdrawal ahead of Biden's deadline for ending the evacuation on Tuesday.
Volunteers and medical staff bring an injured man on a stretcher to a hospital in Kabul on Thursday. File/AFP
After getting briefed on a US drone mission in eastern Afghanistan that the Pentagon said killed two members of the Daesh group's Afghanistan affiliate early Saturday, Biden said Saturday the extremists can expect more.
"This strike was not the last,” Biden said in a statement. "We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay.”
Taliban fighters stand guard at a checkpoint near the gate of Hamid Karzai international Airport in Kabul. AP
The evacuation proceeded as tensions rose over the prospect of another Daesh attack. The State Department issued a new security alert early Sunday morning Kabul time instructing people to leave the airport area immediately "due to a specific, credible threat.”
"Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” Biden said, adding that he has instructed them to take all possible measures to protect their troops, who are securing the airport and helping bring onto the airfield Americans and others desperate to escape Taliban rule.
Western allies that helped with the airlift have mostly already ended their flights, with some voicing despair at not being able to fly out everyone at risk.
The head of Britain's armed forces, General Sir Nick Carter, told the BBC it was "heartbreaking" that "we haven't been able to bring everybody out".
At the airport, gone are the crowds of thousands mobbing the perimeter, hoping to be let through and allowed onto a plane.
The Taliban have now sealed off roads leading to the facility and are only letting sanctioned buses pass.
US President Joe Biden has claimed a US drone strike eliminated a Daesh-Khorasan (Daesh-K) “planner” and a “facilitator” and wounded another person in his effort to exact revenge
Afghanistan has been witnessing a serious escalation in violence especially targeting innocent civilians and this has to end. The capital Kabul has been rocked by back-to-back bombings
Daesh said one of its fighters blew himself up at a "large gathering" in Kabul while others "detonated a parked explosives-laden vehicle" when security forces arrived, in a statement posted on the Telegram messaging app.
The convoy arrived in the Gaza Strip through the Rafah Border Crossing, and is the largest medical support of its kind provided by the UAE to Gaza since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Dr. Khalid Omar Al Midfa discussed challenges of the media industry with attendees at the meeting, exploring ways to expand the sector’s role in the UAE’s development.
Fuelled by the fast-spreading Omicron variant, infections exploded during the past four weeks, with around two million cases recorded.
Thick fog continued to form for the second day in a row across various parts in the country on Thursday. The fog lasted for 12 hours and a half in several areas of the country on Thursday, as it started at exactly 10 pm and continued until 10:30am, because of the country being affected by surface high-pressure systems, accompanied with a ridge of upper air high pressure, according to the National Centre for Meteorology (NCM).