An explosion has been heard outside Kabul airport following warnings that a terror attack could be launched in the final phases of the evacuation effort.
US defence spokesman John Kirby confirmed the blast occurred and said “casualties are unclear at this time” on Thursday afternoon.
It came after armed forces minister James Heappey previously warned there is “very credible reporting” of an “imminent” and “severe” threat to Kabul airport.
He had urged people queuing outside Hamid Karzai International Airport to move to safety amid concerns over an affiliate of the so-called Islamic State in Afghanistan, known as Isis-K.
Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, a member of the foreign affairs and national security strategy committees, said there had been “many hurt” in an attack at the Baron Hotel, where Britons and Afghans eligible for repatriation were being processed.
“A bomb or attack with gun fire at northern gate of Baron’s Hotel. Worried this will devastate evacuation – so many hurt. My heart is with all those injured and killed,” she said.
Tory MP Nus Ghani said she was on the phone to somebody outside Kabul airport when the blast took place.
The Wealden MP tweeted: “Explosion at Kabul airport. I was on the phone to an Afghan outside the airport when he heard the explosion.
“Praying that he gets away safely and we get his family safe passage out of this nightmare.”
Kirby said: “We can confirm an explosion outside Kabul airport. Casualties are unclear at this time. We will provide additional details when we can.”