Dutton condemns Kabul terror attacks, confirms evacuation flights halted

Defence Minister Peter Dutton has confirmed Australian troops are no longer in Kabul after two bombing attacks killed at least 72 people including 12 US soldiers.

Mr Dutton told Today that the final Australian Defence Force members in the Afghan capital had left yesterday.

"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 and I'm very pleased for that."


READ MORE: Kabul airport attack kills 60 Afghans, 12 US troops

Mr Dutton said the Federal Government made the decision after receiving intelligence of an attack involving an ISIS affiliate in Afghanistan.

"We put out advice at 6.15 yesterday morning and had sent text messages, emails to Australians and those people we knew in the vicinity to say vacate because there was clear intelligence that ISKP intended to strike and strike hard."

Mr Dutton said the attacks had forced Australia to halt evacuation flights of Australians and Afghan refugees.

"If we were to continue in that situation, we would have had casualties now as well. 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," he said.

"Our troops will be devastated by the loss of their comrades. These are people they've worked alongside over the course of the last week."


The deadly blasts came as the United States and other Western countries raced to complete a massive evacuation of their citizens and Afghan allies following the Taliban takeover of the country.

Mr Dutton said Afghanistan was now in further chaos.

"These people [ISKP] are more extreme than the Taliban and are basically at war with the Taliban. It is a horribly complex situation."

– With CNN

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