• Tuesday, September 27, 2022

HEADLINE STORY

Seven died near Kabul airport as UK races against time in chaotic evacuation

In this handout image provided by the Ministry of Defence, the British armed forces work with the U.S. military to evacuate eligible civilians and their families out of the country on August 21, 2021 in Kabul, Afghanistan. British armed forces have been evacuation UK citizens and eligible personnel out of the Afghan capital after the Taliban took control of the country last week. (Photo by MoD Crown Copyright via Getty Images)

By: Pooja Shrivastava

SEVEN people died near Kabul airport amid chaos, reports stated on Sunday (22), citing Britain’s Ministry of Defence. Meanwhile, the UK, US and other allies continue to struggle to evacuate thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans who are trying to flee Afghanistan after Taliban Islamists took control a week ago.

UK defence ministry said in a statement that “conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible”.

“Our sincere thoughts are with the families of the seven Afghan civilians who have sadly died in crowds in Kabul,” a defence ministry spokesman said without giving the circumstances.

Six days after the Taliban swept to power, tens of thousands of people are still trying to leave the country in what has been dubbed one of the most difficult airlifts in history as the US, Britain and other allies continue to struggle to evacuate thousands of foreign nationals and Afghans out of Afghanistan.

The UK ministry said separately that Britain has now evacuated nearly 4,000 people from Afghanistan since August 13.

Meanwhile, defence secretary Ben Wallace issued what could be seen as a plea to Washington for more flexibility over US President Joe Biden’s August 31 target date to complete the rescue missions.

“If the US timetable remains, we have no time to lose to get the majority of the people waiting out,” he wrote in the Mail on Sunday.

“Perhaps the Americans will be permitted to stay longer, and they will have our complete support if they do.”

US President Joe Biden has said the deadline could be extended for the airlifts. “I think we can get it done by then, but we’re going to make that judgment as we go,” he said Friday.

British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is seeking to speak to his US counterpart Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss extending the August 31 deadline, according to the Sunday Times.

The Taliban have promised “positively different” rule from their 1996-2001 regime, infamous for an ultra-fundamentalist interpretation of Islamic law, and vowed not to seek revenge on Afghans who worked with the US-backed government.

But an intelligence document for the United Nations and multiple media reports said militants were going door-to-door hunting former government officials and those who worked with US and NATO forces.

 

 

 

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