MAINE, USA — Two suicide bombers and shooters attacked crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul's airport Thursday, transforming a scene of desperation into one of horror in the waning days of an airlift for those fleeing the Taliban takeover. At least 60 Afghans and 12 U.S. troops were killed, Afghan and U.S. officials said.
Maine's congressional delegation reacted swiftly to the horrors unfolding in Kabul.
Maine Senator Susan Collins had strong words for the terrorist act.
“Today’s catastrophic attack against American servicemembers and innocent Afghans was a despicable act of terrorism," said Collins in a statement. "We owe a tremendous debt to the brave servicemembers who are engaged in this evacuation effort, and we grieve this senseless loss of life. The Americans who were killed today selflessly and courageously gave their lives to help desperate, innocent people, and I offer my deepest condolences to their families.”
Senator Angus King released a statement on Twitter saying, "I am closely monitoring the situation in Kabul and praying for the victims of today’s attacks. My team and I remain in daily contact with the Administration on the need to protect American servicemembers and safely evacuate the American citizens and Afghan partners in harm’s way."
Maine 1st District Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said, "I’m heartbroken over the news that several US Marines were killed today alongside Afghans seeking evacuation at the Kabul airport. Our servicemembers and their families have made enormous sacrifices over the course of the last two decades, and we must do everything possible to them and our allies to safety."
Maine 2nd District Congressman Jared Golden echoed Pingree's sentiments.
"I am deeply saddened to learn that U.S. servicemembers have been killed and others wounded by terrorist attacks in Afghanistan," said Golden in a statement. "The security mission that they are carrying out at the airport in Kabul is critical to evacuating American citizens that are still in Afghanistan, and we should honor their sacrifice by ensuring that the mission is completed and that no American is left behind."
U.S. officials said 11 Marines and one Navy medic were among those who died. They said another 12 service members were wounded and warned the toll could grow. More than 140 Afghans were wounded, an Afghan official said.
NEWS CENTER Maine will update this story.