Suspected suicide bombers struck the crowded gates of Kabul airport with at least two explosions, causing a bloodbath among desperate civilians hoping to flee and casting the final days of the Western airlift of its allies into chaos.
A Taliban official said at least 13 people including children had been killed. A surgical hospital run by an Italian charity said it was treating more than 60 wounded. The Pentagon said U.S. personnel were among those hurt.
Video images uploaded to the internet by an Afghan journalist showed a pile of bloodsoaked bodies in a street surrounded by debris. The man filming it was wailing.
"We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of U.S. and civilian casualties. We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate," Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said on Twitter.
The explosion took place amid crowds outside the airport, where desperate Afghans have been massing in hope of escaping in an airlift which the United States says will end by Tuesday following the swift capture of the country by the Taliban.