Last-minute evacuation flights took off from Kabul airport on Friday, a day after two suicide bombings targeting crowds trying to flee from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan killed at least 72 people, including 13 US servicemen.
The bombings, claimed by the ISIS group, injected further panic in the final days of an already frenzied US-led airlift.
The attacks targeted US forces, but hit the mass of people who feared life under the Taliban regime and converged on the airport in a desperate attempt to board a flight.
At least 72 people in the crowd were killed, as well as the 13 American soldiers, according to various authorities.
But with people searching for missing family members in hospitals on Friday, there were fears that the death toll would rise.
President Joe Biden, under enormous pressure from his administration’s handling of the Afghan crisis, vowed to punish those responsible.
“We will not forgive. We will not forget. We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said.
However, Biden, determined to end two decades of war in Afghanistan and citing fears of more attacks by the Islamic State, also insisted that he would stick to his August 31 deadline to end the airlift.
On Friday morning, some evacuation flights resumed with queues of people seen lining up on the runway, but there were no more crowds near the blast sites, according to AFP reporters.
Britain and Spain announced that their evacuation operations would end on Friday, after Canada and Australia had already stopped their flights.
More than 100,000 people have been expelled from the country since the Taliban took power on August 15.