Kabul airport attack: What do we know?

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Medical and hospital staff bring an injured man on a stretcher for treatmentImage source, Getty Images

A powerful bomb blast struck the perimeter of Kabul's Hamid Karzai International Airport on Thursday, as civilians continued to seek to escape on flights from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan.

At least 95 people were killed and 150 others wounded.

The Pentagon confirmed 13 US service personnel were among those killed.

The bombing came hours after Western governments had warned their citizens to stay away from the airport, because of an imminent threat of an attack by IS-K, the Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State group.

Here is what we know about what happened.

The blast happened outside airport

The explosion happened at about 18:00 local time (13:30 GMT), at the Abbey Gate to the airport.

On Thursday, the Pentagon said that there had been two explosions, the first at the Baron Hotel, near the airport's perimeter.

But on Friday it changed its account, saying that there had only been one. Information about the attack had been "garbled", according to a senior Pentagon official.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said a suicide bomber walked into the middle of families waiting outside the gate before carrying out the attack.

He told the BBC: "We think it was a suicide vest and a smaller device. The individual got to the perimeter we had pushed out the day before in response to that threat.

"[The bomber] walked straight into the middle of those families waiting."

Reports say some victims were blown into a sewage canal where Afghans were waiting to be processed.

Many of the victims of the attack were rushed to Kabul's Emergency Hospital.

US and British troops had recently been deployed to guard the area around the Abbey Gate.

According to one account, one attacker fired into a crowd of people, although reports also said Taliban guards had fired into the air.

US citizens who had gone to the area around the airport had been warned before the attack to "leave immediately".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
British soldiers secured the perimeter outside the Baron Hotel shortly after the blast

Casualty figures

It's believed some 95 people were killed and 150 injured.

The Pentagon said that 13 US military personnel, including US marines and a US Navy medic, were among the dead. A further US 15 troops were injured.

On Friday, the UK government confirmed that two British nationals and the child of a British national had been killed in the attack.

Images taken at the scene showed the injured being taken away in wheelbarrows.

Huge crowds had been gathering in the area, hoping to be accepted on to an evacuation flight.

Image source, Getty Images

Some countries had already ended their evacuation flights

The attack is likely to significantly complicate the final effort to airlift thousands of people out of Afghanistan ahead of 31 August.

Before the attack, a number of countries including Germany, the Netherlands and Canada, had announced that they could no longer conduct flights.

Turkey also announced that its troops, who had been providing security at the airport for six years, were withdrawing.

The UK has confirmed that it will no longer be calling people forward to the airport for evacuation flights.

Graphics by Prina Shah and Gerry Fletcher