Taliban stop people from coming to Kabul airport as evacuation process nears end
Stopping people as the US evacuation process nears end, new layers of checkpoints sprang up on roads leading to the airport.
The Taliban on Saturday sealed off Kabul airport to prevent large crowds from gathering and leaving the war-torn country as final NATO evacuation flights left Afghanistan.
Stopping people as the US evacuation process nears end, new layers of checkpoints sprang up on roads leading to the airport, some manned by uniformed Taliban fighters with Humvees and night-vision goggles captured from Afghan security forces, reported Euronews.
The massive US-led airlift wound down ahead of an August 31 deadline of the Taliban. Britain too began bringing its troops home from Afghanistan, as a Royal Air Force plane carrying soldiers landed at the RAF Brize Norton airbase northwest of London.
The troops are part of a contingent of 1,000 that has been based in Kabul to help run the airlift, reported Euronews.
Western leaders acknowledged their withdrawal would mean leaving behind some of their citizens and many locals who helped them over the years, and 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.
Biden warned on Saturday that commanders had told him that 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.
"The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high. Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours," Biden said in a statement.
Meanwhile, according to a Reuters report, the Taliban said on Saturday they were preparing a new cabinet as the US evacuation nears its end and they expected that sharp currency falls and economic turmoil following their takeover of Kabul two weeks ago would subside.
Zabihullah Mujahid, the movement's main spokesman, made the comments to Reuters as the US military winds down its mission to evacuate US citizens and vulnerable Afghans and withdraw troops from Kabul airport ahead of the August 31 deadline set by President Joe Biden.
(With inputs from agencies)
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