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Four Marines remain hospitalized month after suicide bombing at Afghan airport

By Jonna Lorenz
Four Marines remain hospitalized month after suicide bombing at Afghan airport
U.S. Marines honor the service members killed in action during operations during a Ramp Ceremony at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan on August 27. Photo courtesy of U.S. Marine Corps | License Photo

Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Four U.S. Marines remain hospitalized after an attack near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, last month as service members were evacuating foreign nationals and refugees.

The suicide attack by Islamic State-Khorasan Province at the airport's Abbey Gate on Aug. 26 killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 170 Afghan civilians.

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Nearly a month later, four of the injured Marines remain hospitalized at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., where 15 service members initially were being treated after the attack, Marine Corps Times reported.

The names and units of the hospitalized Marines haven't been released. Marine Corps spokesman Capt. Johnny Henderson said one of the hospitalized Marines is in very serious but stable condition and the other three are in serious but stable condition.

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The 11 Marines, one Army soldier and one Navy corpsman who died in the attack are Sgt. Johanny Rosario Pichardo, Sgt. Nicole L. Gee, Staff Sgt. Darin T. Hoover, Cpl. Hunter Lopez and Cpl. Daegan W. Page.

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Also, Cpl. Humberto A. Sanchez, Lance Cpl. David L. Espinoza, Lance Cpl. Jared M. Schmitz, Lance Cpl. Rylee J. McCollum, Lance Cpl. Dylan R. Merola. Lance Cpl. Kareem M. Nikoui, Navy Corpsman Maxton W. Soviak and Staff Sgt. Ryan C. Knauss.

They have been honored with congressional gold medals, which will be displayed at the Smithsonian Institution, and Purple Hearts.

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Purple Hearts were approved or are pending for Marines and corpsmen who were wounded while protecting the airport.

The attack was the deadliest single day of war in more than a decade. The United States retaliated with a drone strike in Nangarhar province that killed two high-profile Islamic State Khorasan Province targets.

About 6,000 American citizens and 124,000 Afghans were airlifted from the country during the evacuation effort, which was completed at the end of August.

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