SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A suicide bomber detonated an explosion where a crowd was gathered outside the entrance to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul Thursday, killing dozens of people including at least 12 U.S. servicemembers.

Thousands of people have gathered every day outside the airport in a desperate bid to evacuate the country following the Taliban taking over the control of the city. A second explosion struck a nearby hotel, the Pentagon said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin), and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) issued statements on the terrorist attack, which marked one of the single deadliest days for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the allied invasion 20 years ago and the first American deaths since February 2020.

Pelosi issued the following statement after the attack:

“The United States House of Representatives strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack outside Kabul airport.  We mourn the loss of every innocent life taken, and we join every American in heartbreak over the deaths of the servicemembers killed.

“Since the end of July, over 100,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan with the assistance of the U.S. military and allied forces.  As we continue this process, Congress, on a bipartisan basis, remains deeply concerned about the security and humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.  As we work with the Biden Administration to bring stability to the situation, Congress must continue to be kept closely informed, which is why I have requested that the Executive Branch continue to brief Members.  At the same time, our Committees of Jurisdiction will continue to hold briefings on Afghanistan.

“As we pray for the lives lost, the many injured and their families, Congress and the Country are grateful to our military, diplomatic and intelligence communities for their courage and patriotism.”

A view of the entrance of a hospital after two explosions reported outside Hamid Karzai International Airport, the center of evacuation efforts from Afghanistan since the Taliban took over in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 26, 2021. (Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Feinstein issued the following statement after the attack:

Swalwell issued the following statement after the attack:

“To evacuate Americans and Afghans who helped keep our troops out of harm’s way, thousands of servicemembers deployed to Afghanistan. Tragically, some will not be returning home. They courageously raised their hands to serve in an area thousands want to flee. They did it because of their patriotism. God bless them, their families, and our country they serve. 

“I am closely monitoring the horrific attacks in and around the Hamid Karzai International Airport.  It’s critical that we do all we can to secure the area so we can prioritize the safe and swift rescue of U.S. citizens, diplomatic personnel, U.S. servicemembers, as well other individuals at imminent risk, such as journalists, women, civil servants and Afghan allies. 

“As we await further information on the specifics of this latest attack, it is clear that despite U.S. and international efforts to contain ISIS and its offshoots, terrorist organizations remain an active threat.

“I thank our servicemembers on the ground for their bravery in helping carry out this critical mission.”

Lee issue the following statement: