Clockwise from left: Jared Golden, Chellie Pingree, Angus King and Susan Collins Credit: BDN File Photo

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation expressed condolences Thursday after 13 U.S. troops and more than 60 Afghan citizens were killed in a suicide bombing outside the primary airport in Kabul.

The terrorist group ISIS-K took credit for the attack. It comes amid U.S. efforts to evacuate American servicemembers and allies from Afghanistan before the end of August following the Taliban takeover of the country earlier this month.

Rep. Jared Golden, a Democrat from the 2nd District who served as a marine in Iraq and Afghanistan, said he was “deeply saddened” by the news, adding that an attack on U.S. troops should not go unanswered and the country should “should honor their sacrifice by ensuring that the mission is completed and that no American is left behind.”

“We must respond with strength to any attack on American citizens or servicemembers. The president must use his authority to swiftly conduct offensive operations against ISIS-K and other threats in order to disable their ability to put our servicemembers and the evacuation mission at risk,” Golden said.

Rep. Chellie Pingree, a Democrat from the 1st District, said she was “heartbroken” by the news, citing the “enormous sacrifices” made by members of the military and their families. Sen. Angus King, an independent, said he was praying for the families of those killed and remained in contact with President Joe Biden’s administration about safe evacuation of remaining Americans and allies.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, characterized Thursday’s attack as a “despicable act of terrorism.”

“We owe a tremendous debt to the brave servicemembers who are engaged in this evacuation effort, and we grieve this senseless loss of life,” Collins said.