- Title: 'Devastating, insane, disgusting' - New Yorkers on Kabul airport attacks
- Date: 27th August 2021
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 26, 2021) (ORIGINALLY SHOT IN PORTRAIT) (VIDEO OBTAINED BY REUTERS) VARIOUS OF PACKED CROWDS AROUND CANAL NEAR THE AIRPORT'S ABBEY GATE ABOUT TWO HOURS BEFORE SUICIDE BOMBERS ATTACKED, KILLING 92 PEOPLE, INCLUDING 13 U.S. TROOPS KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 27, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF RELATIVES MOURNING NEXT TO THE BODY OF THEIR FAMILY MEMBER WHO WAS KILLED IN THE AIRPORT ATTACKS A MAN TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS OF A DECEASED PERSON AS DEAD BODIES LIE IN BAGS ON THE FLOOR BODY BAGS LYING ON THE GROUND SHOES AND SOCKS ON THE GROUND NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 27, 2021) (REUTERS) EMPIRE STATE BUILDING SEEN IN THE DISTANCE / BRYANT PARK ACROSS THE STREET PEOPLE WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSERBY, NABEEL ALVIE, SAYING: "There was a terrorist attack by ISIS Khorasan, and it was kind of expected. There's a power vacuum over there, so there will be people who will try to destabilize the situation, a very sad situation. I very much sympathize with the loss of life, both on the American side and on the Afghan side." (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSERBY, KIMBERLY DICKEN, SAYING: "It's absolutely devastating. I mean, this is what our world has come to? It's absolutely insane. Like, first COVID, now this. It's actually mind-blowing that things like this could still happen. And hopefully the turnout will hopefully not be too much involvement, but also involvement enough by things like this to spread the word about it, because it's just absolutely... it's disgusting." PEOPLE WALKING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSERBY, JONATHAN SCHNEIDERMAN, SAYING: "It's a horrible thing and hopefully we can find a way to get those people out to a safer place." KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 27, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF BOMBING VICTIMS IN HOSPITAL BEDS NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES (AUGUST 27, 2021) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSERBY, NABEEL ALVIE, SAYING: "Americans, obviously, were angry and they reacted to what happened after 9/11, but they had no clear idea what they had to do in Afghanistan and they made repeated mistakes from the start, from the the get-go. Nation-building was influenced by a bit of hubris, I would say, that you can change a nation which is so entrenched in its way, that was the contributing factor. Creating a national army takes a very long time. So that was not feasible. And there were a lot of people, a lot of sensible people who understood what was going on in Afghanistan and predicted what would happen. So it's definitely a bad policy." STREET SIGNS READING (English): "WEST 42ND ST / AVENUE OF THE AMERICAS" / BRYANT PARK ACROSS THE STREET (SOUNDBITE) (English) PASSERBY, JONATHAN SCHNEIDERMAN, SAYING: "It's never a good idea to try and occupy Afghanistan. No one's ever done it in the history of Western... It's not a success. It's not a successful thing. I feel that we never should have gone in there as a situation where we'll have boots on the ground."
- Embargoed: 10th September 2021 14:28
- Keywords: 9/11 Afghanistan Kabul New York Twin Towers World Trade Center attacks
- Location: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES / KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: US
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,International/National Security,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001ES22AMF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: THIS EDIT CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
U.S. forces helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee new Taliban rule were on alert for more attacks on Friday (August 27) after an Islamic State attack killed 92 people including 13 U.S. service members just outside Kabul airport.
In New York on Friday, passersby called the situation "absolutely devastating... absolutely insane... and absolutely disgusting."
Thursday's (August 26) two blasts and gunfire took place near the airport gates where thousands of people have gathered to try to get inside the airport and onto evacuation flights since the Taliban took control of the country on Aug. 15.
U.S. and allied forces are racing to complete evacuations of their citizens and vulnerable Afghans and to withdraw from Afghanistan by an Aug. 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.
Most of the more than 20 allied countries involved in airlifting Afghans and their own citizens out of Kabul said they had completed evacuations by Friday.
Islamic State (ISIS), an enemy of the Islamist Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers had targeted "translators and collaborators with the American army" on Thursday.
The attack underlined the realpolitik facing Western powers in Afghanistan: engaging with the Taliban who they have long sought to fend off may be their best chance to prevent the country sliding into a breeding ground for Islamist militancy.
The number of Afghans killed has risen to 79, a hospital official told Reuters on Friday, adding more than 120 were wounded. A Taliban official said the dead included 28 Taliban members, although a Taliban spokesman later denied that any of their fighters guarding the airport perimeter had been killed.
(Production: Roselle Chen, Hussein Al Waaile)
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