The Taliban are now stopping Afghans from going to the airport, as many continue to try to escape the country.
A Taliban spokesperson has stated the US will need to complete evacuations from Afghanistan before the specified withdrawal deadline of August 31, emphasising that ‘no extensions’ will be given.
At a press briefing held in Kabul, Zabihullah Mujahid said that the people of Afghanistan should no longer attempt to go to the airport or get out of the country.
Mujahid said that this timeline should give foreigners enough time to leave, but added he was ‘not in favour’ of letting Afghans do so:
August 31 is the time given and after that it’s something that is against the agreement.
All people should be removed prior to that date. After that we do not allow them, it will not be allowed in our country, we will take a different stance.
As reported by BBC News, Mujahid stated that the Taliban will no longer allow Afghan nationals to go to Kabul airport due to the chaotic situation at the site.
He added that the crowds gathering at the airport should return to their homes and they will be guaranteed security. Promising they were in ‘no danger’, Mujahid added, ‘Let’s live together’.
Addressing Americans, Mujahid urged them ‘don’t ask Afghans to leave’, explaining ‘we need their talent’. He added that media outlets were once again back up and running, as were the country’s hospitals, local government, universities and schools.
This press conference was held at the same time Western troops were working desperately to help both foreigners and Afghans get out of Afghanistan by plane, with US President Joe Biden facing escalating pressure to negotiate for an extended timeline.
As reported by The New York Times, the US military had so far helped 37,000 Afghan people escape since the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15, and has sped up the process in recent days. As per military officials, approximately 11,000 people were evacuated on Sunday, August 22.
However, this unfortunately represents just a small number of the many American citizens, foreign nationals and Afghan allies currently attempting to flee the country, with the Biden administration so far unable to figure out exactly how many need to be evacuated.
If you’d like to help those who’ve been affected by the recent devastating events unfolding in Afghanistan, you can make a donation to the UN Refugee Agency United Kingdom here
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