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US on alert for additional Kabul assaults in race to finish evacuations

“They aren’t in control of any of the gates. They aren’t in control of any of the airport operations. That’s nonetheless underneath US navy management,” Kirby mentioned.

The US expects some ongoing engagement with the Taliban might be essential after the withdrawal to facilitate additional evacuations, White Home Press Secretary Jen Psaki mentioned.

“The fact is, the Taliban management massive swathes of Afghanistan, together with the areas surrounding the perimeter of the airport,” she advised reporters. “So by necessity, that’s our possibility.”


Islamic State (ISIS), an enemy of the Islamist Taliban in addition to the West, has claimed accountability for the assault, which the Pentagon mentioned on Friday was carried out by one suicide bomber at an airport gate, not two because it earlier acknowledged.

The variety of Afghans killed has risen to 79, a hospital official advised Reuters on Friday, including that greater than 120 had been wounded. A Taliban official mentioned the lifeless included 28 Taliban members, though a spokesman later denied any such fighters had been killed.

The assault underlined the realpolitik going through Western powers in Afghanistan: Partaking with Taliban forces who they’ve lengthy fought could also be their finest probability to stop the nation turning into a breeding floor for Islamist militancy.

The United Nations Safety Council condemned the bombing as “particularly abhorrent” for concentrating on civilians attempting to flee the nation.

Biden mentioned on Thursday he has ordered the Pentagon to plan how one can strike ISIS-Okay, the Islamic State affiliate that claimed accountability. Requested on Friday if Biden sought to seize and placed on trial these accountable, Psaki mentioned “I believe he made it clear yesterday that he doesn’t need them to stay on the earth anymore.”

Biden was already going through sturdy criticism at residence and overseas for the chaos surrounding the troop withdrawal and evacuations. Because the Taliban quickly superior to Kabul amid the pullout, Afghanistan’s Western-backed authorities and navy collapsed. Biden has defended his choices, saying america way back achieved its rationale for invading the nation in 2001.

The US-led invasion toppled the then-ruling Taliban, punishing them for harbouring al Qaeda militants who masterminded the Sep 11 assaults on america that yr.

Many of the greater than 20 allied nations concerned in airlifting Afghans and their very own residents out of Kabul mentioned that they had accomplished evacuations by Friday.

The Taliban mentioned that Afghans with legitimate paperwork would have the ability to journey freely in future at any time – feedback aimed toward calming fears that the motion deliberate harsh restrictions.

Taliban guards blocked entry to the airport on Friday, witnesses mentioned. “We had a flight however the scenario could be very robust and the roads are blocked,” mentioned one man on an strategy street.

Medical provides will run out inside days in Afghanistan, the World Well being Group mentioned, including that it hopes to determine an air bridge into the northern metropolis of Mazar-i-Sharif with the assistance of Pakistan.

Pakistani officers advised Reuters that on the Torkham border crossing, Pakistani safety forces had opened hearth on a bunch of individuals attempting to illegally enter Pakistan, including that two Afghans had been killed and two wounded.

As much as half 1,000,000 Afghans may flee their homeland by year-end, the UN refugee company UNHCR mentioned, interesting to all neighbouring nations to maintain their borders open.

There are additionally rising worries Afghans will face a humanitarian emergency with the coronavirus spreading and shortages of meals and medical provides looming.

The Taliban have requested all girls healthcare employees to return to work, a spokesman mentioned, as skilled and educated Afghans flee the nation.


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