All Australian troops have been withdrawn from Afghanistan and evacuation flights have been halted following the attacks.
The federal government says it is not yet able to confirm whether Australians were involved in the deadly suicide bombings at Kabul airport.
Two suicide bombers attacked crowds gathered outside the airport in hopes of fleeing Taliban-controlled Afghanistan overnight. Afghan and Pentagon officials say at least 60 Afghan civilians and 12 US soldiers were killed.
Foreign Secretary Marise Payne said on Friday morning that it is not yet clear whether Australians have been overtaken.
“We cannot confirm that at the moment,” she told reporters in Canberra.
“We will be contacting those of whom we have details and that is why it is so important to register and so important to follow the travel advice we have issued.”
The most current travel advice, as of Friday morning, is to stay away from the airport.
“Don’t travel to the airport,” Senator Payne said.
“If you are in the area, go to a safe location and also provide contact details for consular support. I cannot encourage following that travel advice strongly enough. I encourage those who are in Kabul who have not registered with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to register.”
Earlier on Friday, it was confirmed that all Australian troops had been withdrawn from Afghanistan and evacuation flights had ended.
Defense Secretary Peter Dutton said a final airlift was completed on Thursday and all Australian personnel involved in the operations are safe.
“I am very happy and relieved that our soldiers have left Kabul, and we made the decision yesterday to lift the last of our people, and they are safe in the United Arab Emirates, and I am very happy about that.”, he said. he told the Nine Network.
“I’m just making that point and if we continued in that situation, we would now have victims as well. So in that situation, we cannot continue to endanger our ADF personnel and their lives.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned “the evil, calculated and inhumane attacks that were carried out overnight in Kabul against the innocent and the brave”.
“Our hearts sank when we heard this news,” he told reporters in Canberra.
Morrison said he had written to US President Joe Biden to “transmit Australia and my own personal deep sorrow at the loss of those brave American souls”.
He said the attack took place at the Abbey Gate of Kabul airport, where Australian personnel had stood a few hours earlier.
“We were able to secure the departure of the remaining Australian personnel over the course of last night, not so long before the horrific events that occurred last night,” said Mr. Morrison.
The US evacuations will continue with President Joe Biden giving no indication of a change to the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline in a White House speech on Friday (AEST).
More than 100 former Australian embassy employees in Kabul, who had waited for evacuation with their families at Abbey Gate hours before the explosion, are safe. They left the area on the advice of Australian military lawyers.
9breaking News has confirmed that all 147 of them are being accounted for by their Australia-based legal team.
“They were there,” advocate Kay Danes told 9breaking News.
“We said to them, ‘go home, go home.”
An Afghan who worked as a chef with Australia in Kabul said he had waited all day at the airport gate but left an hour before the first blast.
“Thank God I’m fine,” he told 9breaking News.
Australia has evacuated a total of 4,000 Australian citizens, visa holders, and foreigners on military flights since the Taliban takeover.
Morrison admitted it would now be difficult for Australians and visa holders to escape from Kabul on British or US military flights, which are still operating, as they will focus on safe admission at the airport.
“To be honest, the options for that will be very limited,” he said.
“We are now in the final days with the United Kingdom and the United States and their priority will obviously be their task, not only for those who are yet to come out but the safe evacuation of their own troops and equipment.”