Two disturbing stories from Afghanistan

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      • Total Posts: 5,343 : Pentagon knew about Kabul suicide bombing ‘hours in advance,’ report claims, but troops on the ground say they weren’t protected

      The initial bombing didn’t take US officials by surprise. The US embassy in Kabul had warned Americans to stay away from the airport due to “security threats” and, in the hours before the suicide attack, Pentagon leaders held a conference call to prepare for an imminent “mass casualty event,” according to a Politico report on Monday.

      The White House reportedly left it up to Austin and the generals to prevent this attack as they saw fit. In a separate call afterwards they discussed pressing the Taliban to step up security outside the airport, even while knowing that the militant group couldn’t be relied on, and mulled but ultimately rejected closing the Abbey Gate, as doing so would prevent the ongoing British evacuation operation.

      Hours after the second call, the bomber struck, the devastating blast ripping through flesh and bone at the packed gate. Austin and Milley were reportedly at the White House at the time, preparing to brief President Joe Biden on the threat.

      The Abbey Gate entrance to the airport packed rows of people between two concrete walls, a perfect environment to amplify the destructive power of a suicide bomb. Looking at video footage of the crowds there the day before the blast, Marine Corps veteran and former Trump administration official Adam Korzeniewski asked “why weren’t there defensive emplacements built?” : UNICEF says SEVEN children were killed in Kabul drone strike that US said targeted ISIS-K terrorists

      At least seven children were killed in a Kabul drone strike, the UNICEF representative in Afghanistan told reporters. The Pentagon had said the strike eliminated an “imminent threat” by ISIS-K terrorists to the ongoing airlift.
      “We have confirmation from open sources that seven children were killed” in the incident, Herve De Lys, UNICEF’s envoy to Afghanistan, told reporters on Monday. “We don’t know who is behind the strike,” he added.

      The apparent ignorance from De Lys was puzzling, since the same open sources that reported the deaths clearly attributed the strike to the US – the New York Times, for example.

      “We are not in a position to dispute it right now,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters on Monday, when asked about reports of civilian casualties in the strike.

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