Taliban guard Kabul airport as NATO troops leave Afghanistan, South Asia News |

The Taliban forces sealed off the Kabul airport to most Afghans hoping for evacuation on Sunday. 

The development comes as the US and its allies began winding down the chaotic airlift that will end two decades of military engagement in Afghanistan.

The western leaders acknowledged that their withdrawal would mean leaving behind some of their citizens and many locals who helped them over the years.

Also, they vowed to try to continue working with the Taliban to allow local allies to leave after President Joe Biden’s Tuesday’s deadline to withdraw from the country.

The US planned to keep its flights going until the deadline, even after most of its allies had finished their evacuation flights. 

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US said that 113,500 people had been evacuated since August 14, the day before the Taliban claimed Kabul.

Biden has also warned that commanders had told him another attack was “highly likely in the next 24-36 hours,” and the US embassy issued a new warning early Sunday for all Americans to avoid the airport area entirely.

However, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to “shift heaven and earth” to get more of those at risk from the Taliban to Britain by other means.

Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, said that it was “time to close this phase of the operation now.” 

“But we haven’t forgotten the people who still need to leave,” he said. “We’ll continue to do everything we can to help them. Nor have we forgotten the brave, decent people of Afghanistan. They deserve to live in peace and security.”

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While the flow of planes slowed, others arrived in locales around the world carrying Afghans who managed to secure places on the last evacuation flights, including in the Washington area, Philadelphia, Madrid, and Birmingham, England.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed on Saturday that the group’s forces were holding some positions within the airport and were ready to peacefully take control of it as American forces flew out. 

However, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby denied the claim.


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