A suspected suicide bombing at Kabul airport in Afghanistan has killed at least 70 people and wounded many more.
Afghan officials say at least 60 of their civilians were killed and 143 injured in the attacks that took place late on Thursday afternoon.
At last count, 12 US service members were thought to have been killed in the blasts - 11 Marines and one Navy medic, according to two US officials.
Suicide bombers struck the crowded gates of the airport with at least two explosions, causing a bloodbath among civilians and United States troops and effectively shutting down the Western airlift of Afghans desperate to flee.
Shots have also been fired at an Italian military transport plane as it flew out of the airport on an evacuation mission, a source at Italy's Defence Ministry says.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the bombing would not slow down evacuation efforts, while Canadian forces have ended evacuation efforts.
A Taliban spokesman has told Turkish TV that the twin attacks on the airport were an act of terrorism that should be condemned by the whole world.
The presence of foreign forces in the country were to blame, he added.
An alert urging citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and encouraging those already at the gates to leave had been issued on Thursday.
Back on home soil and the COVID-19 re-opening plan debate will continue at National Cabinet today.
The prime minister has become increasingly adamant vaccine coverage targets of 70 per cent and 80 per cent must trigger new phases of restrictions regardless of case numbers.
The inclusion of children in the thresholds has opened up a fresh front in the battle between leaders.
The ACT is set to reveal tweaks to Canberra's coronavirus restrictions, with Chief Minister Andrew Barr warning the coming months will be difficult.
The usual state COVID-19 press conferences can be expected throughout the morning.
In Paralympic news, Australia took home a silver and three bronze on Thursday, here's a wrap of the day and what's up on Friday.