New urgency to airlift after Kabul blasts kill more than 100

KABUL: Evacuation flights from Afghanistan resumed with new urgency on Friday, a day after two suicide bombings targeted the thousands of people desperately fleeing a Taliban takeover and killed more than 100. The U.S. warned more attacks could come ahead of next week’s end to America’s longest war.

As the call to prayer echoed through Kabul along with the roar of departing planes, the anxious crowds outside the city’s airport appeared as large as ever. They are acutely aware that the window is closing to board a flight before the airlift ends and Western troops withdraw.

Thursday’s bombings near the airport killed at least 95 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops, Afghan and U.S. officials said, in the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.

Afghan officials warned that the toll could rise, with morgues stretched to capacity and the possibility that relatives are taking bodies away from the scene. One official said as many as 169 may have died. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

At least 10 bodies lay on the grounds outside Kabul’s Wazir Akbar Khan Hospital, where relatives said the mortuary could take no more. Afghans said many of the dead are unclaimed because family members are travelling from distant provinces. – AP