Pentagon confirms explosion outside Kabul airport resulting in unknown number of casualties

Australian citizens and visa holders are preparing to board the Royal Australian Air Force C-17A Globemaster III aircraft. Australian Army infantry personnel assist with cargo and security at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 22, 2021.
WASHINGTON The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that there was an explosion at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul. Western forces are now rushing to evacuate as many people from the country as possible.

According to John Kirby, the Pentagon's top spokesperson, there is an unknown number of casualties.

A White House official stated to NBC News that President Joe Biden had been briefed about the blast.

The U.S Embassy in Kabul described the explosion "large" and reported gunfire. They urged Americans not to travel to Kabul's airport or its gates.

Before the explosion, the embassy issued a security alert urging Americans not to go to the airport. The alert stated that Americans who were at the Abbey Gate East Gate or North Gate should immediately leave.

A press conference that was originally scheduled to take place at 10:30 a.m. has been delayed by the Pentagon. ET.

Over the past 24 hours, Western forces have evacuated 13,400 Kabul residents on 91 military cargo plane flights. Around 95,700 Afghans have been evacuated from Afghanistan since the mass evacuations began Aug. 14.

Since July 31, approximately 101,300 people were evacuated, including 4,500 U.S citizens and their families.