Kabul airport attack 'mastermind' killed by Taliban: U.S. officials
Updated 13:54, 26-Apr-2023

The Taliban have killed an Islamic State militant who was the "mastermind" behind a suicide attack at Kabul's international airport in 2021 that killed 13 U.S. troops and scores of civilians during the United States' chaotic evacuation from the country, U.S. officials said on Tuesday.

The bombing occurred on August 26, 2021, as U.S. troops were trying to help Americans and Afghans flee in the chaotic aftermath of the Taliban's takeover.

"He was a key ISIS-K official directly involved in plotting operations like Abbey Gate, and now is no longer able to plot or conduct attacks," White House spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement, referring to the Abbey Gate entrance to the Kabul airport where the blast occurred. He did not name the official.

Late Tuesday night, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder issued a statement confirming that the plotter had been killed by the Taliban. "The United States was not involved in this operation," Ryder said.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: Smoke rises from a deadly explosion outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 26, 2021. /AP)

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