Lithuanian troops left Kabul before explosion – minister

  • 2021-08-26
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – Lithuanian troops involved in the evacuation of Afghan interpreters and their families left Kabul before an explosion outside the Afghan capital's airport on Thursday, Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas said. 

"They are no longer in Afghanistan," he told BNS. "I can confirm that they were no longer there at that time."

Eleven troops of Lithuania's Special Operations Forces were on their way from Kabul to Lithuania.

The US military confirmed a large explosion outside the Kabul airport where the United States and other countries have been evacuating tens of thousands of people. 

AFP quoted Pentagon spokesman John Kirby as saying that it was unclear yet if there were any casualties. 

The US and its allies said earlier they had intelligence that suicide bombers were threatening to attack the airport, according to the news agency. 

Anusauskas also confirmed that the last plane with 26 Afghan interpreters and their families had already landed in Lithuania.  

The minister said earlier that Lithuania would relocate a total of 176 people – Afghan interpreters who had assisted the Lithuanian military contingent, and their families – as part of the ten-day evacuation operation.