One of the 13 U.S. service members killed in Thursday's suicide bombing at Kabul airport was from Massachusetts, a source has confirmed to NBC10 Boston.
Johanny Rosario, of Lawrence, died when two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked crowds of desperate Afghans flocking to the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul in the waning days of an American-led evacuation before the U.S. officially ends its 20-year presence in Afghanistan on Aug. 31.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said one explosion was near an airport entrance and another was a short distance away by a hotel.
U.S. officials initially said 11 Marines were among those who died, but another service member died hours later. Eighteen more service members were wounded in the attack. The deadly bombing in Afghanistan also claimed the lives of at least 169 Afghans.
President Joe Biden called the military members heroes, representing the best of America, working selflessly to help others escape the Taliban regime that has retaken the country.
"They were part of the bravest, most capable, most selfless military on the face of the Earth," Biden said. "And they were part of simply what I call the backbone of America. They're the spine of America, the best the country has to offer."
Here are the military members who died. Eleven were U.S. Marines, according to Maj. Jim Stenger, a Marine Corps spokesperson, one was a Navy corpsman and one was a soldier.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the killings on its Amaq news channel. The IS affiliate in Afghanistan is far more radical than the Taliban, who recently took control of the country in a lightning blitz. The Taliban were not believed to have been involved in the attacks and condemned the blasts.
A retaliatory U.S. drone strike early Saturday in eastern Afghanistan killed a member of the country's Islamic State affiliate, U.S. Central Command said. Biden had laid responsibility for Thursday's suicide bombing on that offshoot extremist group which is an enemy both to the West and to Afghanistan's Taliban and is known for especially lethal attacks.
Photos: Kabul Bombers Kill 13 US Service Members Among Crowds of Afghans in Blasts Near Airport
Acting swiftly on Biden's promise to retaliate for the deadly suicide bombing at Kabul airport, the drone strike came amid what the White House called indications that IS planned to strike again before Tuesday's deadline for the U.S. to complete its exit.
Biden authorized the drone strike and it was ordered by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, a defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to provide details not yet publicly announced.
The airstrike was launched from beyond Afghanistan less than 48 hours after the devastating Kabul attack that killed 13 Americans and scores of Afghans with just days left in a final U.S. withdrawal after 20 years of war. U.S. Central Command provided few details but said it believed its strike killed no civilians.