13 U.S. service members killed in Kabul airport attack identified

13 U.S. service members killed in Kabul airport attack identified

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U.S. carries out drone strike against ISIS-K

U.S. carries out drone strike against ISIS-K


The Defense Department has identified the 13 U.S. service members who died in an attack outside of the Kabul airport on Thursday. The suicide bombing also killed scores of Afghans, and left 18 U.S. service members wounded.

Navy Corpsman Maxton “Max” W. Soviak, 22, of Berlin Heights, Ohio, and Army Staff Sergeant Ryan C. Knauss, 23, of Corryton, Tennessee, died in the attack, as did the following 11 Marines:

Marine Corps Staff Sergeant Darin T. Hoover, 31, of Salt Lake City, UtahMarine Corps Sergeant Johanny Rosario Pichardo, 25, of Lawrence, MassachusettsMarine Corps Sergeant Nicole L. Gee, 23, of Sacramento, CaliforniaMarine Corps Corporal Hunter Lopez, 22, of Indio, California Marine Corps Corporal Daegan W. Page, 23, of Omaha, NebraskaMarine Corps Corporal Humberto A. Sanchez, 22, of Logansport, IndianaMarine Corps Lance Corporal David L. Espinoza, 20, of Rio Bravo, TexasMarine Corps Lance Corporal Jared M. Schmitz, 20, of St. Charles, MissouriMarine Corps Lance Corporal Rylee J. McCollum, 20, of Jackson, WyomingMarine Corps Lance Corporal Dylan R. Merola, 20, of Rancho Cucamonga, CaliforniaMarine Corps Lance Corporal Kareem M. Nikoui, 20, of Norco, CaliforniaThe bombing happened at Kabul airport’s Abbey Gate hours after the U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned Americans to stay away from the airport due to “security threats.” A defense official told CBS News on Friday that the suicide bomb is estimated to have contained 25 pounds of high explosives. An average suicide vest contains just 5-10 pounds. The vest also had shrapnel to increase its deadly effects. ISIS-K later claimed responsibility.

Speaking after the attack, President Biden vowed retribution, saying, “We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down, and make you pay.” Soon after Mr. Biden’s address, the White House announced flags would be flown at half staff through Monday.

The U.S. announced Friday night it launched a drone strike in northern Afghanistan, killing two ISIS-K members. It was not clear whether the members were involved in the bombing.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul continues to encourage people to avoid the Kabul airport.

“Because of security threats at the Kabul airport, we continue to advise U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates,” the embassy wrote on its website Friday night. “U.S. citizens who are at the Abbey gate, East gate, North gate or the New Ministry of Interior gate now should leave immediately.”

It wasn’t immediately clear what intelligence prompted the advisory, but earlier Friday, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby and Army Major General William Taylor, joint staff deputy director for regional operations, cautioned that the U.S. expects more attack attempts.

Kabul’s airport has been overrun with people desperate to flee Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country. Since August 14, the U.S. has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 105,000 people, according to the White House. The U.S. is scheduled to complete its withdrawal from Afghanistan Tuesday.

The Defense Department said the bombing remains under investigation.

Americans still awaiting evacuation from Afgh…


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