“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” Biden, apparently close to tears, warned the attackers while addressing the nation from White House on Thursday (local time).
Biden said US troops were “engaged in a dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others”. At least a dozen US service members were killed, besides around 60 Afghans, while scores were injured in Thursday’s twin suicide bombings. The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Biden said the US in Afghanistan would “respond with force and precision”. “If military needs additional force, I’ll grant it,” he said.
He, however, added there was no sign of “collusion” between the Taliban and Islamic State in the attack. On the other hand he acknowledged that Taliban “are not good guys”, adding it was in their interest that the US leaves on time and on target.
Biden also reaffirmed the August 31 troop pullout deadline from Afghanistan. “We’ll rescue the American citizens from Afghanistan. We’ll get our Afghan allies out and our mission will go on,” the US President said.
Two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds flocking to Kabul’s airport Thursday. One of the bombers struck people standing knee-deep in a wastewater canal under the sweltering sun, throwing bodies into the fetid water.
( With inputs from agencies)