Hundreds in Kabul look ahead to U.S. evacuation amid Taliban retaliation fears – Nationwide |

2021-08-21 20:45:30

Tens of 1000’s of individuals in Afghanistan waited nervously on Saturday to see whether or not america would ship on President Joe Biden’s new pledge to evacuate all People and all Afghans who aided the warfare effort. In the meantime, the Taliban chief arrived in Kabul for talks with the group’s management on forming a brand new authorities.

Time is operating out forward of Biden’s Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw most remaining U.S. troops, and the president on Friday evening didn’t decide to extending it. He faces rising criticism as movies depict pandemonium and occasional violence exterior the airport, and as weak Afghans who concern the Taliban’s retaliation ship determined pleas to not be left behind.

In a brand new safety warning, the U.S. Embassy on Saturday instructed residents to not journey to the Kabul airport with out “particular person directions from a U.S. authorities consultant,” citing potential safety threats exterior its gates. And but crowds remained exterior its concrete obstacles, clutching paperwork and generally stunned-looking kids, blocked from flight by coils of razor wire.

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Tens of 1000’s of Afghan translators and others, and their shut members of the family, search evacuation after the Taliban’s shockingly swift takeover of Afghanistan in just a little over per week’s time. The autumn of Kabul marked the ultimate chapter of America’s longest warfare, which started after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror assaults.

Taliban chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who negotiated the non secular motion’s 2020 peace cope with the U.S., was in Kabul for conferences with the group’s management, a Taliban official mentioned, talking on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not licensed to speak to the information media. Baradar’s presence is important as a result of he has usually held talks with former Afghan leaders resembling ex-President Hamid Karzai.

Afghan officers accustomed to talks held within the capital say the Taliban have mentioned they won’t make bulletins on their authorities till the Aug. 31 deadline for the troop withdrawal passes.

Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official within the ousted authorities, tweeted that he and Karzai met Saturday with Taliban’s appearing governor for Kabul, who “assured us that he would do the whole lot doable for the safety of the individuals” of the town.

Evacuations continued, although some outgoing flights have been removed from full due to the airport chaos, Taliban checkpoints and bureaucratic challenges. A German flight on Friday evening carried 172 evacuees, however two subsequent flights carried out simply seven and eight individuals, respectively.

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After a backlog at a transit facility in Qatar pressured flights from the Kabul worldwide airport to cease for a number of hours on Friday, the Gulf nation of Bahrain on Saturday introduced it was permitting flights to make use of its transit services for the evacuation. The United Arab Emirates, in the meantime, mentioned it will host as much as 5,000 Afghans “previous to their departure to different international locations.”

Click to play video: 'Trudeau: Canada redoubling Afghanistan rescue efforts'

Trudeau: Canada redoubling Afghanistan rescue efforts

Trudeau: Canada redoubling Afghanistan rescue efforts

On Friday, a protection official mentioned about 5,700 individuals, together with about 250 People, have been flown out of Kabul aboard 16 C-17 transport planes, guarded by a brief U.S. army deployment that’s constructing to six,000 troops. On every of the earlier two days, about 2,000 individuals have been airlifted.

Officers additionally confirmed that U.S. army helicopters flew past the Kabul airport to scoop up 169 People looking for to evacuate. Nobody is aware of what number of U.S. residents stay in Afghanistan, however estimates have ranged as excessive as 15,000.

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Thus far, 13 international locations have agreed to host at-risk Afghans not less than briefly, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned. One other 12 have agreed to function transit factors for evacuees, together with People and others. About 300 evacuees arrived Friday evening from Qatar on the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany, one transit level for individuals being taken to the U.S., the American army mentioned.

“We’re drained. We’re joyful. We at the moment are in a protected nation,” one Afghan man mentioned upon arrival in Italy with 79 fellow residents, talking in a video distributed by that nation’s protection ministry.

However the rising query for a lot of different Afghans is, the place will they lastly name residence? Already, European leaders who concern a repeat of the 2015 migration disaster are signaling that fleeing Afghans who didn’t assist Western forces through the warfare ought to keep in neighboring international locations as an alternative. The determined scenes of individuals clinging to plane taking off from Kabul’s airport have solely deepened Europe’s anxiousness.

Remaining in Afghanistan means adapting to life below the Taliban, who say they search an “inclusive, Islamic” authorities, will supply full amnesty to those that labored for the U.S. and the Western-backed authorities and have change into extra average since they final held energy from 1996 to 2001. In addition they have mentioned _ with out elaborating _ that they may honor ladies’s rights throughout the norms of Islamic legislation.

However many Afghans concern a return to the Taliban’s harsh rule within the late Nineteen Nineties, when the group barred ladies from attending college or working exterior the house, banned tv and music, chopped off the palms of suspected thieves and held public executions.

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“As we speak, a few of my buddies went to work on the court docket and the Taliban didn’t allow them to into their workplaces. They confirmed their weapons and mentioned, `You’re not eligible to work on this authorities if you happen to labored up to now one,”’ one ladies’s activist in Kabul instructed The Related Press on Saturday. She spoke on situation of anonymity for concern of retaliation.

With a Turkish visa however no solution to safely attain the airport, the activist described the hole between the Taliban’s phrases and actions “very alarming.” She mentioned she was holed up within the metropolis with a colleague, consuming meals delivered by a buddy.

The Taliban now function in a really completely different Afghanistan, dealing with far nearer scrutiny this time round as residents are capable of share developments on social media. Some concern retaliation, nevertheless, and are hurriedly wiping out their on-line presence.


Faiez reported from Istanbul, Gannon from Islamabad, and Anna from Nairobi, Kenya. Related Press author Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Colleen Barry in Milan, Italy; Matt Lee in Washington; and Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report.

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