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kabul explosion

Senate Foreign Relations chair: Kabul attack shows 'we can't trust the Taliban with Americans' security'

In the wake of two explosions near the Kabul airport in Afghanistan on Thursday, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) issued a statement condemning "in the strongest and most forceful of terms" the day's tragic events, and calling on the U.S. government to help those "desperately trying to leave the country."

"I understand that American personnel were among the casualites and my prayers are with the victims of this cowardly attack and their families," wrote Menendez. "As we wait for more details to come in, one thing is clear: We can't trust the Taliban with Americans' security." U.S. officials had warned Americans late Wednesday to stay away from the airport or "leave immediately" due to an "unspecified security threat," per The Associated Press. The administration had also previously "raised alarm" about the potential of an attack from the ISIS-affiliated terror group, ISIS-K, reports CNN.

"This is a full-fledged humanitarian crisis," said Menendez, whose criticism The Philadephia Inquirer's Jonathan Tamari notes has previously been "somewhat restrained" until now. The senator added that the U.S. government "must secure the airport and complete the massive evacuation" of those "desperately trying to leave the country."

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said Thursday's attacks resulted in "a number of U.S. and civilian casualties," though no exact count has been confirmed.