Bill to confer Congressional Gold Medal on troops killed in Kabul airport attack goes to Biden for signature

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Washington — The Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation posthumously awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the 13 U.S. service members killed in the attack outside the main airport in Kabul this summer.

With the Senate’s passage of the bill, the measure now heads to President Biden’s desk for his signature. The House approved the bill last month.

The legislation praises the 13 service members for their “extreme bravery and valor against armed enemy combatants.”

“The American servicemembers went above and beyond the call of duty to protect citizens of the United States and our allies to ensure they are brought to safety in an extremely dangerous situation as the Taliban regained control over Afghanistan,” the bill reads.

The service members — 11 Marines, one Navy corpsman and one Army staff sergeant ranging in age from 20 to 31 — were among those killed in late August when a suicide bomber detonated an explosion outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, where scores of people were gathered in hopes of fleeing Afghanistan after the Taliban regained control of the country.

ISIS Khorasan, or ISIS-K, claimed responsibility for the attack, which left nearly 200 people dead and hundreds wounded. The bombing marked deadliest single day of the war for the U.S. in more than a decade.

Mr. Biden set an August 31 deadline for all remaining U.S. troops to pull out of Afghanistan, bringing to a close the 20-year war there. The final U.S. flight out of Afghanistan took off from the Kabul airport on August 30.

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