Canadian special forces are operating outside the airport in an effort to bring as many eligible people as possible through security gates amid an increasingly dangerous security situation, a senior Canadian government official said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office said he and Biden agreed to work together to ensure all those eligible to leave Afghanistan were able to do so, even after the initial evacuation phase ended.
A local Taliban militant, speaking to a large crowd in Kabul, urged Afghans to remain.
“Where has our honour gone to? Where has our dignity gone to?” the unidentified militant said. “We will not let the Americans continue to be here. They will have to leave this place. Whether it is a gun or a pen, we will fight to our last breath.” The Taliban seized power last week as the United States and its allies withdrew troops after a 20-year war launched in the weeks after the Sep 11, 2001, attacks.
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Panicked Afghans and foreigners have thronged the airport since, clamouring to catch any flight out. Many fear reprisals and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law that the Taliban enforced while in power from 1996 to 2001.
Twenty people have been killed in the chaos, most in shootings and stampedes, as US and international forces try to bring order. One member of the Afghan forces was killed and several wounded in Monday’s clash, the US military said.
While thousands of people have been airlifted out of Afghanistan, a British government spokesperson said British evacuations could not continue once US troops leave.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian also said more time was needed. “We are concerned about the Aug 31 deadline set by the United States,” he said.
Source: Channel News Asia