Amid Kabul evacuation chaos, Biden under pressure to extend deadline By Reuters


© 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’s 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 he stated lots may nonetheless go mistaken. U.S. troops may 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 on Monday between Afghan guards and unidentified gunmen. German and U.S. forces had been additionally concerned, the Germany navy stated.

Britain and France had been amongst these calling for the deadline to be eased. However a Taliban official stated international forces had not sought an extension and it could not be granted if they’d.

And an area Taliban militant, talking to a big crowd in Kabul on Monday, 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 Individuals proceed to be right here. They must go away this place. Whether or not it’s a gun or a pen, we are going to struggle to our final breath.”

The Taliban seized energy simply over every week in the past as america and its allies had been withdrawing troops after a 20-year struggle launched within the weeks after the Sept. 11 assaults on america by al Qaeda militants in 2001.

Panicked Afghans and foreigners have thronged the airport for days, clamouring to catch a flight out earlier than the U.S.-led forces full their pullout by the tip of the month.

They worry reprisals and a return to a harsh model of Islamic regulation that the Sunni Muslim group enforced when it held 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 deliver order. One member of the Afghan forces was killed and several other wounded in Monday’s conflict, the U.S. navy stated.

Germany stated on Monday it had airlifted virtually 3,000 individuals originating from 43 nations from Kabul airport, together with about 1,800 Afghans.

The Taliban have deployed fighters outdoors the airport, the place they’ve additionally tried to assist implement some sort of order.


Biden stated the safety scenario in Afghanistan was altering quickly and remained harmful.

“Let me be clear, the evacuation of hundreds from Kabul goes to be arduous and painful” and would have been “regardless of when it started”, Biden stated in a briefing on the White Home on Sunday.

“We have now a protracted method to go and lots may nonetheless go mistaken.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will urge Biden this week to increase the deadline. His spokesperson stated Britain nonetheless needed to fly out hundreds of individuals.

“We’ll proceed to run our evacuation course of so long as the safety scenario permits, the spokesperson stated, including that it could not be potential for British evacuations to proceed as soon as U.S. troops go away.

France’s international minister stated on Monday extra time was wanted past Aug. 31 to finish evacuations from Afghanistan. “We’re involved in regards to the Aug. 31 deadline set by america,” Jean-Yves Le Drian stated.

The chaos on the airport can also be disrupting shipments of support stepping into to Afghanistan.

The World Well being Group stated 500 tonnes of medical provides as a result of be delivered this week had been caught as a result of Kabul airport was closed to business flights, Richard Brennan, WHO regional emergency director for the Jap Mediterranean Area, instructed Reuters.

He stated the WHO was calling for empty planes to divert to its storage hub in Dubai to gather the provides on their method to choose up evacuees in Afghanistan.

Leaders of the Taliban, who’ve sought to indicate a extra average face since capturing Kabul, have begun talks on forming a authorities, whereas their forces concentrate on the final pockets of opposition.

Taliban fighters had re-taken three districts within the northern province of Baghlan which opposition forces briefly captured and had surrounded opposition forces within the Panjshir valley, an previous stronghold of Taliban opponents northeast of Kabul.

“The enemy is below siege in Panjshir,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated on Twitter.

Anti-Taliban chief Ahmad Massoud stated on Sunday he hoped to carry talks with the Taliban however his forces in Panjshir — remnants of military models, particular forces and militiamen — had been able to struggle.

Zabihullah additionally stated the Taliban needed to “clear up the issue by means of talks”.

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