US, Germany warn of rising safety threats at Kabul airport

The United States and Germany have suggested their nationals in Afghanistan to keep away from travelling to Kabul airport, citing safety dangers as hundreds gathered making an attempt to flee the nation almost per week after the Taliban took management.

Conditions outdoors Hamid Karzai International Airport have been chaotic amid the crush of individuals hoping to flee the Taliban takeover of the nation per week in the past.

“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising US citizens to avoid travelling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a US government representative to do so,” a US embassy advisory mentioned on Saturday.

The German embassy additionally suggested its native residents to not go to the airport, warning in an e mail that the Taliban was conducting more and more strict controls across the airport.

The warnings supplied no element on the hazard, however a White House official in a while Saturday confirmed that aides had briefed US President Joe Biden on “counterterrorism operations” in Afghanistan, together with in opposition to the ISIL (ISIS) armed group.

“This morning, the president met with his national security team … They discussed the security situation in Afghanistan and counterterrorism operations, including ISIS-K,” a White House official mentioned.

Known as Islamic State within the Khorasan (IS-Ok or ISIS-Ok), the Afghan ISIL department has been on the again foot since struggling heavy losses in 2019 but it surely retains the power to hold out devastating assaults in city areas, together with Kabul.

A Taliban official, chatting with Reuters information company, mentioned safety dangers couldn’t be dominated out however that the group was “aiming to improve the situation and provide a smooth exit” for individuals making an attempt to depart over the weekend.

The Taliban remains to be making an attempt to hammer out a brand new authorities and the group’s co-founder, Mullah Baradar, arrived in Kabul for talks with different leaders on Saturday.

The group’s lightning advance throughout the nation as US-led forces pulled out, coinciding with what German Chancellor Angela Merkel described on Saturday because the “breathtaking collapse” of the Afghan military, sparked fear of reprisals and a return to a harsh model of Islamic legislation the Taliban exercised when it was in energy 20 years in the past.

Switzerland postponed a constitution flight from Kabul due to the chaos on the airport.

“The security situation around Kabul airport has worsened significantly in the last hours. A large number of people in front of the airport and sometimes violent confrontations are hindering access to the airport,” the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs mentioned in an announcement on Saturday.

The US had evacuated 2,500 Americans from Kabul over the previous week, senior US officers mentioned on Saturday, including that Washington was preventing in opposition to “time and space” to evacuate individuals from Afghanistan.

Army Major General William Taylor, with the US army’s Joint Staff, advised a Pentagon briefing that 3,800 individuals had been evacuated on US army and chartered flights from Kabul prior to now 24 hours, bringing to 17,000 the entire variety of individuals evacuated within the present mission.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby mentioned he didn’t have a “perfect figure” on what number of Americans stay within the nation.

EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell advised the AFP information company that it was “mathematically impossible” for the US and its allies to evacuate the tens of hundreds of Afghan personnel and households by the August 31 deadline.

Borrell, talking from Spain in a phone interview, added that “we have complained” to the Americans that their safety at Kabul airport was overly strict and hampering makes an attempt by Afghans who labored for the Europeans to enter.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, from the Taliban’s cultural fee, acknowledged that Kabul airport stays a flashpoint, however advised Al Jazeera that the chaos there was an issue created by the US because it rushes to evacuate hundreds of individuals.

“I think it is very unfortunate for people to be rushing to the airport the way they are at the moment … We have announced general amnesty for everyone, in the security forces from the senior to the junior level. This fear, this hysteria that is taking place is unfounded,” he mentioned.

‘Inclusive system’

Balkhi mentioned talks to kind a brand new authorities embody discussions over whether or not the capital will stay in Kabul or move to the group’s birthplace of Kandahar.

“The consultations are ongoing of course it is going to be an inclusive system but I do not have the details of who is going to be in the government and who is not going to be in the government,” he mentioned.

The delay in forming a brand new authorities and even saying who will lead a brand new Taliban administration underlines how unprepared the motion was for the sudden collapse of the Western-trained forces it had been preventing for years.

Balkhi mentioned the Taliban’s leaders didn’t initially intend to enter Kabul.

“The developments were so fast that all people were taken by surprise. When we entered Kabul and it was not planned, we announced initially that we do not want to enter Kabul and we want to reach a political solution before entering Kabul and making a joint and inclusive government,” he mentioned.

“But what happened was the security forces left, abandoned their places and we were forced to ask our forces to enter and take over security.”

The Taliban, whose total chief Mullah Haibatullah Akhunzada has to date been silent publicly, should additionally unite disparate teams throughout the motion whose pursuits might not at all times coincide now that victory has been achieved.

The Taliban has sought to current a extra average face since returning to energy, saying it needs peace and can respect the rights of girls throughout the framework of Islamic legislation.

When in energy from 1996 to 2001, guided by their interpretation of Islamic legislation, they stopped girls from working or going out with out carrying an all-enveloping burqa and stopped women from going to highschool.

The Taliban is reported to have carried out raids on properties, focused killings and harassed authorities and civil society figures in current days.

It denies the claims however mentioned it’s investigating instances of criminality.

“Our foremost priority is discipline in our own ranks and not enforcing laws on others but enforcing it on ourselves first and then giving it an example for the rest of society to follow suit so … if our members are involved in such things, they will be the first to be prosecuted,” Balkhi mentioned.

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