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Biden defends using Taliban for Kabul airport security after blasts, no evidence they were involved

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Clothes and blood stains seen at the site of the attacks at Kabul's airport in Afghanistan on August 27, 2021.
  • At least 95 Afghans and 13 US troops were killed in twin blasts at Kabul's airport on Thursday.
  • ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attack. Biden said the Taliban played no part.
  • He then defended using the Taliban as airport security, saying the US has to work with them.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

US President Joe Biden has defended enlisting the Taliban to defend Kabul's airport, saying there's no evidence they were involved in Thursday's attacks.

At least 95 Afghans and 13 US service members were killed after two blasts at the airport's Abbey Gate and the nearby Baron Hotel.

The attack was claimed by ISIS-K, an offshoot of the Islamic State terror group. In its statement, the group criticised the Taliban for helping the US military evacuate "spies" from Kabul.

In a statement late Thursday, Biden defended tasking the Taliban to help secure the airport and said they played no part in the attacks.

"There is no evidence thus far that I've been given, as a consequence by any of our commanders in the field, that there has been collusion between the Taliban and ISIS in carrying out what happened," Biden said.

When asked by a reporter if it was a mistake to use the Taliban to secure the perimeter of the airport, Biden said: "No, I don't."

"No one trusts them [the Taliban]; we're just counting on their self-interest to continue to generate their activities," he said.

"So, it's not a matter of trust, it's a matter of mutual self-interest."

Also on Thursday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US needs to work with the Taliban to continue evacuating people from Kabul, as they are in charge of the country.

"The Taliban, whether we like it or not, is in control, largely in control, of the country, certainly in control of the city of Kabul. And it's been important to work with them to try to facilitate and ensure the departure of all those who want to leave," he said.

The US is to withdraw its military personnel on August 31. US allies, including the UK, were winding up their evacuation flights on Friday.

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