Afghanistan (MNN) —After the threat of a terrorist attack from the Islamic State, at least two explosions rocked the Kabul airport yesterday evening. Different sources report between 30 and 40 casualties, with hundreds wounded. The Pentagon also confirmed several U.S. military casualties. The numbers could be much higher, as the Taliban has discouraged health officials from briefing the press.
Early eyewitness reports say a suicide bomber wearing an explosive vest caused the first explosion. People were packed together outside the Abbey Gate trying to get into the airport when the explosion happened.
Kabul’s airport has been a hub for people trying to escape the Taliban’s rule in the country. The U.S. and other countries continue evacuating through the airport, but that will end on August 31st.
Greg Kelley of World Mission says most Afghans feel trapped. “I spoke to a family, who said, ‘We’re just in hiding. They’re monitoring all of our communications. We can’t leave. We can’t travel.’ The Lord has done amazing work inside of Afghanistan, especially in these last 20 years in the absence really of the Taliban. Just that our network we know of 200 underground churches. So we rejoice and we thank the Lord for that. But those people are traumatized right now.”
“They just don’t know when their door is going to be knocked on by the Taliban with guns.”
Pray for the Church in Afghanistan. Ask God to protect them, and pray many would be drawn to Jesus seeing their faith and love. Kelley says, “The Christian families that I’ve spoken to were so encouraged to hear that report that thousands of Christians in America are praying for them. So I think one of our roles is quite honestly just encouragement. Encouragement is like energy. It just blesses them.”
Kelley encourages readers to pray for Muslims in the country as well. He spoke to one Muslim family. “I said, ‘Well, I’m a Christian, and thousands of Christians are praying for you right now. Is it okay if I pray for you?’ And she said to me, ‘If Allah wills, we will absolutely receive your prayers.’”
The header photo shows U.S. troops at the Kabul airport. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain)