KABUL: A US-controlled detonation on Thursday that was heard across Kabul destroyed Eagle Base, the last CIA outpost outside Kabul airport, US officials said.
The base blast was intended to ensure that any equipment or information left behind would not fall into the hands of the Taliban.
Eagle Base, started at the start of the war in a former brick factory, had been in use throughout the conflict and grew from a small outpost to a sprawling center used to train the counterterrorism forces of Afghan intelligence agencies.
These forces were among the only ones to continue fighting as the government collapsed, according to current and former officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence-related issues.
“It was an exceptional unit,” said Mick Mulroy, a former CIA officer who served in Afghanistan. “They have been one of the primary means used by the Afghan government to keep the Taliban at bay over the past two decades. They were the last to fight and suffered heavy losses.
The complex was extremely secure and designed in such a way that it was virtually impossible to enter. Walls up to 10 feet high surrounded the site, and a thick metal door opened and closed quickly to allow cars to enter.
The destruction of the base was planned and was unrelated to the massive explosion at the airport which killed around 170 Afghans and 13 US servicemen. But the detonation, hours after the airport attack, alarmed many people in Kabul, who feared it was another terrorist attack.
The official US mission in Afghanistan to evacuate US citizens and Afghan allies is scheduled to end till August 31.
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