Two British nationals were killed in yesterday’s bomb attack at Kabul airport in Afghanistan, alongside the child of another British national, the UK’s foreign secretary said.
In a statement from the Foreign Office on Aug. 27, Dominic Raab said that two other British nationals were also injured in the attack that killed a total of over 90 people, including 13 U.S. troops.
“These were innocent people and it is a tragedy that as they sought to bring their loved ones to safety in the UK they were murdered by cowardly terrorists,” Raab said in a statement.
“Yesterday’s despicable attack underlines the dangers facing those in Afghanistan and reinforces why we are doing all we can to get people out. We are offering consular support to their families.”
“We will not turn our backs on those who look to us in their hour of need, and we will never be cowed by terrorists.”
The bombings were claimed by ISIS-K, a local Afghan splinter group of the ISIS terrorist group that was itself an offshoot of al-Qaeda.
Raab’s announcement comes as the last British evacuation flights leave Kabul, leaving behind over 1,000 Afghans who could be eligible for evacuation, as British troops scramble to pull out ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Friday morning that the processing centre for evacuations had closed, and that only those 1,000 people already inside the airport would be airlifted out. “We will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours,” he told Sky News.
Around 800 to 1,100 Afghans who worked with Britain and had been eligible to leave the country would be left behind, Wallace told LBC radio.
The total number of people airlifted out by British forces since mid-August currently stands at 13,708, according to the latest Ministry of Defence data.
Almost 8,000 of those are Afghans who were eligible to come to the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy, which was set up for translators and other staff who have assisted British authorities and are now at risk of reprisals from the Taliban.
British troops will withdraw before U.S. troops, but the defence secretary has not given a precise end-point due to operational security.
The evacuation efforts were brought to a close today, four days before the Aug. 31 deadline, to allow the military time to get themselves out of the country safely.
Wallace earlier warned that the threat from terror groups will only “grow the closer we get to leaving” following yesterday’s bombings.