A terrorist attack at Kabul airport reportedly killed at least 60 civilians and 12 US troops, and now it’s forced Australia and most other countries to call of their Afghanistan evacuation missions early.

Two ISIS-affiliated suicide bombers attacked a crowded gate at the airport in the early hours of the morning on Friday, Australian time. The blast comes just days before the Taliban’s August 31 deadline for foreign troops to wrap up their evacuations and leave the country.

“We put out advice at 6:15 yesterday morning and sent text messages and emails to Australians and those people that we knew in the vicinity to say to vacate, because there was very clear intelligence that IS-KP intended to strike and strike hard,” Defence Minister Peter Dutton told the Today show on Friday morning.

“These are people who are even more extreme than the Taliban, and are basically at war with the Taliban.

“It is a horribly complex situation and I’m very pleased and relieved that our soldiers have departed from Kabul and we took the decision to lift the last of our people yesterday, and they are safely in the United Arab Emirates.”

There are still dozens of Australian citizens plus thousands more Afghans with Australian visas who haven’t been evacuated, and their fate is now in limbo.

When asked about these people, Dutton said he hoped there’d be commercial flights restarting in Afghanistan soon, which is basically the same as telling people to evacuate themselves via means which aren’t even possible right now.

“If we were to continue in that situation, we would’ve had casualties now as well,” Dutton added.

“So in that situation, we can’t continue to put our ADF personnel and their lives at risk, and that’s the situation, the reality of what’s on the ground at the moment, which hasn’t made it possible for us to lift more people out.”

Australia’s evacuation mission saw several RAAF planes airlift roughly 4,000 people out of the country, but things kicked off to a very slow start with the first flight carrying just 26 people.

Many Afghans who are now being targeted by the Taliban because they’ve worked for the Australian Army as interpreters or in other roles have been calling on the Australian government to help for years.

There really should’ve been plenty of time to evacuate people from Afghanistan, but instead it’s come down to a last-minute mission which has now been called off due to terrorism.

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