© Reuters. A soldier assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division offers safety at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport, Afghanistan, August 21, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Cpl. Davis Harris/Handout by way of REUTERS
KABUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) -With hundreds of determined Afghans and foreigners crowding into Kabul airport within the hope of fleeing Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers, stress grew on U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday to increase the deadline for the evacuation operation.
Biden on Sunday warned that the evacuation was going to be “arduous and painful” and stated rather a lot may nonetheless go improper. U.S. troops would possibly keep past their Aug. 31 deadline to supervise the evacuation, he stated.
That concern was underlined on Monday morning when a firefight erupted on the airport between Afghan guards and unidentified gunmen. German and U.S. forces have been additionally concerned, the Germany army stated.
The safety state of affairs round Kabul airport has turn into more and more harmful, a senior Canadian authorities official instructed reporters.
“Crowds are intense, violence is changing into extra widespread and Taliban checkpoints in surrounding areas are stopping many from reaching the airport space,” stated the official, who spoke on the situation he not be recognized.
Canadian particular forces are working exterior the airport in an effort to carry as many eligible individuals as doable by means of safety gates, the official added.
Britain and France have been amongst these calling for the deadline to be eased. However a Taliban official stated international forces had not sought an extension and it will not be granted if that they had.
And an area Taliban militant, talking to a big crowd in Kabul, urged Afghans to stay within the nation.
“The place has our honour gone to? The place has our dignity gone to?” the unidentified militant stated. “We won’t let the People proceed to be right here. They should depart this place. Whether or not it’s a gun or a pen, we’ll battle to our final breath.”
The Taliban seized energy simply over per week in the past as the US and its allies have been withdrawing troops after a 20-year struggle launched within the weeks after the Sept. 11 assaults on the US by al Qaeda in 2001.
Panicked Afghans and foreigners have thronged the airport for days, clamouring to catch a flight out. Many worry reprisals and a return to a harsh model of Islamic regulation that the Taliban enforced whereas in energy from 1996 to 2001.
Twenty individuals have been killed within the chaos, most in shootings and stampedes, as U.S. and worldwide forces attempt to carry order. One member of the Afghan forces was killed and several other wounded in Monday’s conflict, the U.S. army stated.
A flight carrying evacuated at-risk Afghans will arrive in the US in a while Monday from Ramstein air base in Germany, a senior State Division official stated, including that the tempo of flights from transit hubs housing evacuees will ramp up.
The official dismissed stories that solely People may get by means of to Kabul airport whereas others have been blocked.
Germany stated it had airlifted virtually 3,000 individuals originating from 43 international locations from Kabul, together with 1,800 Afghans.
Biden stated the safety state of affairs was altering quickly and remained harmful.
“Let me be clear, the evacuation of hundreds from Kabul goes to be arduous and painful,” Biden stated on Sunday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge Biden https://www.reuters.com/world/uk/uks-johnson-push-biden-afghan-deadline-extension-2021-08-23 to increase the deadline. His spokesperson stated Britain nonetheless wished to fly out hundreds of individuals, however British evacuations couldn’t proceed as soon as U.S. troops depart.
France’s international minister stated extra time was wanted. “We’re involved in regards to the Aug. 31 deadline set by the US,” Jean-Yves Le Drian stated.
German Overseas Minister Heiko Maas stated a digital summit of the Group of Seven rich nations on Tuesday wanted to agree on whether or not to increase the deadline and learn how to enhance entry to the airport.
The airport chaos can be disrupting support shipments.
Some 500 tonnes of medical provides have been caught as a result of Kabul airport was closed to industrial flights, Richard Brennan, World Well being Group regional emergency director for the Jap Mediterranean Area, instructed Reuters.
He stated empty planes ought to divert to Dubai to gather the provides on their technique to choose up evacuees in Afghanistan.
Leaders of the Taliban, who’ve sought to point out https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taliban-seek-present-moderate-face-they-take-control-afghanistan-2021-08-15 a extra reasonable face since capturing Kabul, have begun talks on forming a authorities, whereas their forces deal with the final pockets of opposition.
Taliban fighters had retaken three districts within the northern province of Baghlan which opposition forces briefly captured and had surrounded opposition forces within the Panjshir valley, an outdated stronghold of Taliban opponents northeast of Kabul.
“The enemy is below siege in Panjshir,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated.
Anti-Taliban chief Ahmad Massoud https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/anti-taliban-leader-massoud-says-negotiation-only-way-forward-2021-08-22 stated on Sunday he hoped to carry talks with the Taliban however his forces in Panjshir – remnants of military items, particular forces and militiamen – have been able to battle.
Zabihullah additionally stated the Taliban wished to “remedy the issue by means of talks”.