Two attacks on Kabul airport: 90 dead, 158 wounded
At least ninety people were killed – including children, 12 American soldiers and a navy doctor – and 158 were injured in two strong explosions that rocked Kabul airport. Dozens of Afghans were also killed as at least 5,000 people waited their chance to board a plane, desperate to flee the country after the Taliban takeover. A Taliban official said at least 28 of the Afghans killed were Taliban members. ISIS claimed responsibility for the attacks. The US said they were bracing themselves for more attacks.
Biden vows to hunt aggressors
US President Joe Biden has vowed that those responsible will be hunted down and made to pay. In an emotional address from the White House, he said he had ordered the military to develop plans to target a branch of the Islamic State group that carried out the suicide bombing. He insisted that the airlift would continue despite the bombing. The White House said in the last 24 hours, some 7,500 people have been evacuated from Kabul, of which 5,100 on 14 US military flights and 2,400 on board 39 coalition flights.
Canada, Western states wrap up evacuation operations
Reuters news agency reports that the evacuation of civilians from Kabul has been accelerated after the attacks with flights taking off regularly. Canada and Germany have already left Afghanistan. The Italian airlift will also end today with the departure of the last C-130 from Kabul. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the attack as “despicable”. French President Emmanuel Macron has guaranteed that the evacuations would continue until August 31. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned the attacks as “heinous” while Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the blasts were “evil, calculated and inhumane attacks on the innocent and the brave”.
Police officer killed Capitol rioter to ‘save countless lives’
The police officer who shot and killed the Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt during the US Capitol attack in January has said he fired his gun to “save the lives of members of Congress and myself and my fellow officers”. Lt Michael Byrd, who publicly revealed his identity in an interview on NBC News, said he has had to hide since January 6, after receiving death threats when his name was leaked on rightwing forums and websites. He said there had also been racist attacks. “They talked about killing me, cutting off my head,” Byrd, a 28-year police veteran, said. “It’s all disheartening, because I know I was doing my job.”
India” gang-raped girl in critical condition
An Indian university student is in a critical condition in hospital after being attacked and gang-raped by five men, in a park. Times of India says the police have started the search for the attackers described by the girl’s partner, who was bottle-necked, and savagely beaten by the pack, before the rape of his girlfriend.
The case comes 24 hours after the news of the death of a young woman who set herself on fire in Delhi because she did not get justice after denouncing a politician who raped her. It is estimated that in India, a woman is raped every fifteen minutes.
Champions League draw
UEFA Champions League holders Chelsea are up against Juventus, final hosts Zenit and Malmö after the group stage draw was made in Istanbul. Manchester City are up against Lionel Messi-powered Paris Saint-Germain in Group A, while Manchester United and Villarreal face a rematch of last season’s UEFA Europa League decider in Group F. Teams have been grouped as follows: Group A: Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Club Brugge, Group B: Atletico Madrid, Liverpool, Porto, AC Milan, Group C: Sporting, Borussia Dortmund, Ajax, Besiktas, Group D: Inter Milan, Real Madrid, Shakhtar Donetsk, Sheriff Tiraspol, Group E: Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Benfica, Dynamo Kiev, Group F: Villarreal, Manchester United, Atalanta, Young Boys, Group G: Lille, Sevilla, Red Bull Salzburg, Wolfsburg, Group H: Chelsea, Juventus, Zenit, Malmo. This year’s Champions League final takes place at the St Petersburg Stadium in Russia on Saturday, May 28.