Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Highlights: Qatar emerges as key player in Afghanistan after US pullout

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Updated: August 30, 2021 10:49:03 pm

Afghanistan Latest News, Afghanistan Terror Attack Highlights, Afghanistan-Taliban-Kabul Crisis, Kabul evacuation News August 30 Highlights: Where is Taliban supreme commander Hibatullah Akhundzada? Local reports say Kandahar

Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live, Afghanistan Terror Attack, Kabul airport evacuation LiveAfter the Taliban took the control of Afghanistan on August 15, many flee the country seeking new lives abroad. (Picture: Reuters)

Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News August 30 Highlights: Ahead of the August 31 deadline for evacuation, the situation in Afghanistan remained grimed. Several counties have already completed, or near completion of their evacuation efforts. A large number of people are still waiting outside the Kabul airport seeking to leave the country. After the Taliban took the control of Afghanistan on August 15, many flee the country with an uncertain future and fearing risk to their lives. As thousands of people wait outside Kabul airport, seeking evacuation and new lives abroad, several rockets were heard flying over Kabul, according to a report by AFP, though targets were unclear.

US forces launched a drone strike in Kabul on Sunday that killed a suicide car bomber suspected of preparing to attack the airport, as the US nears the end of its troop withdrawal in the Afghan capital. The strike was the second carried out by US forces in Afghanistan since an ISIS-K suicide bomber struck the airport on Thursday, killing 13 US troops and scores of Afghan civilians trying to flee the country.
In the meanwhile, the US and nearly 100 other countries in a joint statement on Afghanistan Evacuation Travel Assurances by the Taliban stated that all foreign nationals, Afghans with travel authorization from the said countries will be allowed to safely travel outside Afghanistan, according to the US Dept of State.

Stay with us as we bring you the latest on the Afghanistan crisis:

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Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Live, Afghanistan Taliban News Latest, Kabul Live News Latest Updates, Joe Biden, Nato Live, Kabul Airport Evacuation Latest, Kabul Airport attack, ISIS-K bombing, Mazar e Sharif, Kunduz, Ashraf Ghani Latest

Highlights

    22:48 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Pakistan's borders are secured, prepared to meet 'any' challenge: Gen Bajwa

    Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday assured lawmakers that the country's borders are secured and his forces are prepared to meet "any" situation, amid the evolving situation in neighbouring Afghanistan. Briefing members of parliamentary committees on internal and external security, including Kashmir, at the General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi, Gen Bajwa also highlighted the importance of restoration of peace in war-torn Afghanistan for sustainable development of the region. (Reuters)

    21:55 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: U.S. moved 1,200 people from Kabul on Sunday

    The United States air lifted about 1,200 people from Kabul on Sunday, the White House said on Monday, as the massive evacuation from Afghanistan enters its final day. (Reuters)

    21:43 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Global coalition pledges to keep fighting Islamic State after Kabul attack

    The group of countries that have banded together to fight Islamic State, including the United States, released a statement pledging to work to eliminate the group and taking special aim at its affiliate in Afghanistan that took responsibility for Monday's rocket attack on Kabul's airport."We will draw on all elements of national power — military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic, law enforcement — to ensure the defeat of this brutal terrorist organization," the coalition said in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, which also said the countries would "identify and bring their members to justice." (Reuters)

    21:22 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: UK's Raab calls on allies to work together to help Afghans leave

    British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab urged his counterparts from other countries on Monday to work together to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan for eligible Afghans still in the country, the ministry said.Raab also said the Taliban leadership should be judged on its actions and on whether people are allowed to leave, the Foreign Office said in a statement.Raab took part in a virtual meeting of foreign ministers and officials from the United States, Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, NATO, Qatar and Turkey. (Reuters)

    20:57 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Afghanistan's healthcare system near collapse, aid agencies warn

    Afghanistan's healthcare system is at risk of collapse, two major aid agencies told Reuters, after foreign donors stopped providing aid following the Taliban takeover.After the United States withdraw the bulk of its remaining troops last month, the Taliban accelerated its military campaign, taking control of the capital Kabul on Aug. 15.International donors including the World Bank and European Union froze funding to Afghanistan shortly afterwards."One of the great risks for the health system here is basically to collapse because of lack of support," said Filipe Ribeiro, Afghanistan representative for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), one of the largest medical aid agencies in the country. (Reuters)

    20:33 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Afghanistan's healthcare system near collapse, aid agencies warn

    Afghanistan's healthcare system is at risk of collapse, two major aid agencies told Reuters, after foreign donors stopped providing aid following the Taliban takeover.After the United States withdraw the bulk of its remaining troops last month, the Taliban accelerated its military campaign, taking control of the capital Kabul on Aug. 15.International donors including the World Bank and European Union froze funding to Afghanistan shortly afterwards."One of the great risks for the health system here is basically to collapse because of lack of support," said Filipe Ribeiro, Afghanistan representative for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), one of the largest medical aid agencies in the country. (PTI)

    20:22 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Global coalition pledges to keep fighting Islamic State after Kabul attack

    The group of countries that have banded together to fight Islamic State, including the United States, released a statement pledging to work to eliminate the group and taking special aim at its affiliate in Afghanistan that took responsibility for Monday's rocket attack on Kabul's airport."We will draw on all elements of national power — military, intelligence, diplomatic, economic, law enforcement — to ensure the defeat of this brutal terrorist organization," the coalition said in a statement released by the U.S. State Department, which also said the countries would "identify and bring their members to justice." (Reuters)

    20:00 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Pak delivers WHO medical supplies in Taliban-controlled Mazar-e-Sharif in Afghanistan

    Pakistan on Monday delivered WHO medical supplies to northern Afghanistan's Mazar-e-Sharif, the fourth largest city of the country which fell to the Taliban on August 14. A Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight - PK-234 carrying medical essentials from the World Health Organization (WHO) landed at the Mazar-i-Sharif Airport the first international flight to the city after the Taliban swept Afghanistan in mid-August, state-run Associated Press of Pakistan reported. The PIA is providing air transport for the operation while WHO will be arranging logistics on the ground. (Reuters)

    19:22 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: US military will continue evacuating people

    The U.S. military will continue evacuating people from Kabul airport until Aug. 31 if needed, but will prioritize the removal of U.S. troops and military equipment on the last couple of days, the Pentagon has said. On Monday, two U.S. officials said most U.S. diplomats had left the country.Washington has evacuated 5,400 U.S. citizens since Aug. 14, according to the U.S. government.There were still about 350 U.S. citizens in Afghanistan trying to leave the country, a State Department spokesman said. (Reuters)

    19:00 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Islamic State group claims latest Kabul attack

    The Islamic State group's affiliate in Afghanistan has claimed responsibility for Monday's rocket attack in Kabul, saying it fired at least six Katyusha rockets at the airport in the Afghan capital. The rockets stuck a neighbourhood close to the Kabul airport. The claim of responsibility was carried by the militant group's media arm, the Aamaq news agency. It didn't provide further details. The U.S. military said five rockets targeted the airport on Monday morning and that U.S. forces on the airfield used a defensive system to intercept them. The attack did not halt the steady stream of U.S. military C-17 cargo jets taking off and landing at Hamid Karzai International Airport. (

    18:43 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: WHO opens air bridge to Afghanistan with medical supplies

    A plane carrying World Health Organization medicines and health supplies landed in Afghanistan on Monday, the UN health agency said, the first shipment to get in since the country came under the control of the Taliban."After days of non-stop work to find a solution, I am very pleased to say that we have now been able to partially replenish stocks of health facilities in Afghanistan and ensure that — for now – WHO-supported health services can continue," Ahmed Al Mandhari, WHO regional director for the eastern Mediterranean, said in a statement.The WHO had warned on Friday that medical supplies would run out within days in Afghanistan, announcing that it hoped to establish an air bridge into the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif by then with the help of Pakistani authorities. (Reuters)

    18:17 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: US has capacity to evacuate remaining Americans

    The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden's Tuesday deadline, senior administration officials said, as rocket fire in Kabul and another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the war's final days. ``This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days,'' said America's top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not long before confirmation of the drone strike in Kabul. (Reuters)

    17:59 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: What's happening in Kabul?

    While thousands of Afghans have been airlifted by Western troops, several lakhs are fearing the worst is yet to come. Local reports say that the Taliban fighters have been calling the ‘at-risk’ residents and saying that they know here these people are.

    16:33 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada not in Pakistan

    A day before the end of the US drawdown deadline, local Afghan reports say that Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada is believed to be in Kandahar. The current Taliban chief, who is said to be quite close to what's known as Quetta Shura. The Quetta Shura is an association of Taliban leaders based out of this Pakistani town. 

    16:23 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Russia to evacuate more people from Afghanistan, holds drills nearby

    Russia's embassy in Kabul said on Monday it was laying on extra evacuation flights from Afghanistan, while Russian troops carried out military drills close to the Afghan border amid heightened regional security risks.It was not clear whether the extra flights would continue past a Tuesday deadline agreed between U.S. President Joe Biden and the Taliban for the withdrawal of the U.S. troops who have led security at the airport since the Western-backed government collapsed.Russia's embassy remained operational in Kabul after Western diplomats rebased to the airport following the Taliban takeover of the capital on Aug. 15.President Vladimir Putin's special representative on Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov, said on Monday the embassy was working to establish relations Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers.Russia was ready to help rebuild Afghanistan's economy, he said, urging Western nations not to freeze the Afghan government's financial assets."We are establishing ties (with Taliban officials), our embassy in Kabul is working quite actively on this," he told Russian state television. – Reuters

    15:52 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: UK plans series of diplomatic efforts after exit from Afghanistan

    The UK government has said it will continue to drive a coordinated international response to Afghanistan under Taliban control after its last troops left the country over the weekend, with a series of diplomatic efforts planned from Monday. According to diplomatic sources in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab will participate in a meeting with Qatar, Turkey, fellow G7 partners and NATO on Monday. He will use the US chaired meeting with "like-minded partners" on Afghanistan to emphasise the UK's four international priorities: preventing Afghanistan from becoming a haven for terrorists; responding to the humanitarian plight; safeguarding regional stability; and holding the Taliban to account on human rights. In particular, the minister is expected to stress the importance of ensuring the Taliban stand by their commitment to allow "safe passage" for foreign nationals and Afghans authorised to enter third countries. On counter-terrorism, he will underline the need for the Taliban to demonstrate that they are implementing the counter-terrorism commitments made in Doha, the sources indicated. Raab will also set out some principles for how the West should engage the Taliban: on a pragmatic basis, "responsive to the actions of the Taliban not just their words" and coordinated across the international community with as broad a coalition as possible. (PTI)

    15:43 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: EU to seek to stop mass Afghanistan migration flows, draft statement says

    European Union interior ministers will say on Tuesday they are determined to act to prevent uncontrolled migration from Afghanistan, according to a draft statement seen by Reuters. EU governments are eager to avoid a repeat of the chaotic influx of migrants in 2015 that caught the bloc unprepared and sowed divisions among EU states, fuelling support for far-right parties as camps in Greece and other countries swelled. "Based on lessons learned, the EU and its member states stand determined to act jointly to prevent the recurrence ofuncontrolled large-scale illegal migration movements faced in the past, by preparing a coordinated and orderly response," the ministers will say, according to the draft, dated Aug. 28. The draft did not contain specific details of new measures. Ministers will gather for an emergency meeting on Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the fallout from the Afghanistan crisis. (Reuters)

    15:41 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: We're constantly monitoring the situation in Afghanistan, says Rajnath Singh

    We're constantly monitoring the situation in Afghanistan. Along with the security of Indians, we also want that by taking advantage of the situation there, anti-national forces shouldn't be able to encourage cross-border terrorism: Defense Minister Rajnath Singh (ANI)

    15:29 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Afghan situation raises new security questions, says Defence Minister Rajnath Singh

    The current happenings in Afghanistan have raised new security questions, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said Monday, asserting the Central government is alert and capable of dealing with any situation. He also said no anti-national force should be allowed to encourage terrorism from across the border by taking advantage of the developments in Afghanistan. READ FULL STORY

    15:24 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: UN refugee chief says as Kabul evacuation comes to an end, 'a larger crisis is just beginning' in Afghanistan

    U.N. refugee chief Filippo Grandi says as Kabul evacuation comes to an end, "a larger crisis is just beginning" in Afghanistan - statement (Reuters)

    15:20 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Sri Lanka seeks safety of travellers from Afghanistan

    Sri Lanka on Monday hoped that all those who possess travel authorisation from other countries would be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to the points of departure and travel out of Afghanistan. In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that it continues to monitor the developments in the war-torn country and remains concerned about the situation, including its humanitarian aspect. "Sri Lanka hopes that all those who possess travel authorisation from other countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to the points of departure and travel out of Afghanistan," the ministry said. Sri Lanka has been facilitating, with the assistance of its international partners, evacuation of its citizens from Afghanistan. "As of 30th August, 66 Sri Lankans have been evacuated and 7 more remain to be evacuated while 21 Sri Lankans have opted to remain in Afghanistan for the time being," the statement added. (PTI)

    14:21 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: EU says Afghanistan shows need for rapid-reaction force

    EU governments must push ahead with a European rapid reaction force to be better prepared for future crises such as in Afghanistan, the EU's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said. In an interview published on Monday, Borrell told Italian paper Il Corriere della Sera the short-notice deployment of U.S. troops to Afghanistan as security deteriorated showed the EU needed to accelerate efforts to build a common defence policy. "We need to draw lessons from this experience ... as Europeans we have not been able to send 6,000 soldiers around the Kabul airport to secure the area. The US has been, we haven't," he said. Borrell said the 27-member EU should have a "initial entry force" of 5,000 soldiers. "We need to be able to act quickly." (Reuters)

    14:01 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Qatar emerges as key player in Afghanistan after US pullout

    Qatar played an outsized role in US efforts to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan. Now the tiny Gulf Arab state is being asked to help shape what is next for Afghanistan because of its ties with both Washington and the Taliban, who are in charge in Kabul. Qatar will be among global heavyweights on Monday when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken hosts a virtual meeting to discuss a coordinated approach for the days ahead, as the US completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover of the country. The meeting will also include Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the European Union and NATO.  Qatar has also reportedly been asked by the Taliban to provide civilian technical assistance at Kabul's international airport, once the US military withdrawal is complete on Tuesday. Authorities in Qatar have not commented on the reports. Meanwhile, international UN agencies are asking Qatar for help and support in delivering aid to Afghanistan. Qatar's role was somewhat unexpected. The nation, which shares a land border with Saudi Arabia and a vast underwater gas field in the Persian Gulf with Iran, was supposed to be a transit point for a just a few thousand people airlifted from Afghanistan over a timeline of several months. After the surprisingly swift Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15, the United States looked to Qatar to help shoulder the evacuations of tens of thousands in a chaotic and hurried airlift. (AP)

    13:53 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: All parties' should establish contact with Taliban & 'guide it actively': China to US

    China has told the US that the Afghanistan situation has undergone fundamental changes and it is necessary for 'all parties' to make contact with the Taliban and 'guide it actively', reiterating that America's troop withdrawal may provide an opportunity for the resurgence of terrorist groups. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, during his telephonic conversation with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday, discussed the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan amidst chaotic airlifts of Afghan civilians and diplomats by the US and NATO countries before the August 31 deadline. Wang and Blinken also discussed bilateral ties which were riddled with tensions over a host of issues. The Chinese Foreign Minister said the situation in Afghanistan has undergone fundamental changes and it is necessary for 'all parties' to make contact with the Taliban and 'guide it actively', state-run Xinhua news agency reported. The US, in particular, needs to work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance, help the new Afghan political structure maintain normal operation of government institutions, maintain social security and stability, curb currency depreciation and inflation and embark on the journey of peaceful reconstruction at an early date, Wang said. (PTI)

    13:21 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Around 500 Russian troops in drills near Afghanistan - report

    Around 500 Russian motorised infantry troops are carrying out drills in the mountains of Tajikistan against the backdrop of instability in neighbouring Afghanistan, Russia's defence ministry was quoted as saying on Monday. All servicemen involved in the exercise come from the Russian military base in Tajikistan, the Interfax news agency quoted the Central Military District command as saying. The current set of drills is the third one carried out by Russia close to the Afghan border this month. Next month, a Russia-led security bloc will hold another exercise in Kyrgyzstan which hosts a Russian military airbase. (Reuters)

    13:00 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: US airstrike kills at least 10 people in Kabul

    At least 10 people, including children, were killed in a US airstrike in Kabul yesterday, local residents say: TOLOnews

    12:52 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Uzbekistan ready to help Germany with Afghanistan evacuations, minister says

    Uzbekistan is willing to open its borders to people fleeing from Taliban rule in Afghanistan who are on a German list of those at-risk in the country and need to be evacuated, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told journalists on Monday. Germany has identified tens of thousands more people who need to be evacuated from Afghanistan, including German citizens, local Afghan staff and at-risk groups such as human rights activists and journalists. Maas is on a trip to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Qatar, among other to find ways to evacuate these people, either by plane if Kabul airport can be kept open after NATO withdraws or overland to neighbouring countries. "Uzbekistan is prepared to help us with this group of people," Maas said. (Reuters)

    12:17 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Taliban condemns US attack in Kabul - Chinese media

    A Taliban spokesman condemned the United States for launching an attack in Kabul without informing it first, in an interview on China's state television CGTN on Monday. The spokesman told CGTN that it is unlawful for the United States to launch attacks in other countries at will. (Reuters)

    11:59 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Russia to evacuate more people from Afghanistan - report

    The Russian embassy in Kabul said on Monday it was accepting applications from those seeking to leave Afghanistan on additional evacuation flights, after Moscow evacuated about 360 people from the country last week. The embassy said in a series of tweets that the flights would be open to Russian citizens and residents as well as nationals of countries that are members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, a Moscow-led post-Soviet security bloc. (Reuters)

    10:35 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: US has capacity to evacuate remaining Americans, says White House

    The United States has the capacity to evacuate the approximately 300 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan who want to leave before President Joe Biden's Tuesday deadline, senior Biden administration officials said, as another U.S. drone strike against suspected Islamic State militants underscored the grave threat in the war's final days. "This is the most dangerous time in an already extraordinarily dangerous mission these last couple of days," America's top diplomat, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, said not long before confirmation of that airstrike in Kabul, the capital. The evacuation flow of Americans kept pace even as a new State Department security alert, issued hours before the military action, instructed people to leave the airport area immediately "due to a specific, credible threat." Biden's national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that for those U.S. citizens seeking immediately to leave Afghanistan by the looming deadline, "we have the capacity to have 300 Americans, which is roughly the number we think are remaining, come to the airport and get on planes in the time that is remaining. We moved out more than that number just yesterday. So from our point of view, there is an opportunity right now for American citizens to come, to be admitted to the airport and to be evacuated safely and effectively."(AP)

    10:33 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: White House confirms rocket attack at Kabul airport, says operations continue uninterrupted

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    10:12 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Mexico receives more fleeing Afghan journalists, families

    Mexico received 86 media workers and their family members from Afghanistan on Sunday, the government said, as more people flee the country after the Taliban militant group's takeover earlier this month. Most of the people who arrived with the latest flight worked for The Wall Street Journal in Afghanistan, the government said in a statement. They arrived at Mexico City's international airport as the third group since widespread evacuations began. Mexico called the reception of people from Afghanistan 'a political decision' carried out in full adherence to the historical tradition of humanitarian assistance. 'The government of Mexico ... reiterates its willingness to grant protection and assistance for humanitarian reasons - within its capacities - to people from that country, whose life and integrity are in imminent danger.' Last week, Mexico received 124 media workers and their family members from Afghanistan, including New York Times journalists. (Reuters)

    09:15 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Multiple rockets fired at Kabul airport, intercepted by defense system -U.S. official

    Multiple rockets were fired at Kabul's international airport but were intercepted by a missile defense system, a U.S. official told Reuters citing initial information. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said as many as 5 rockets were fired, though it was not clear if all were brought down by the defense system. The official said initial reports did not indicate any U.S. casualties, but that information could change. (Reuters)

    09:11 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: First group of Afghan refugees arrives in Kosovo for temporary shelter

    The first group of Afghan refugees arrived in Kosovo on Sunday, which has agreed to temporarily shelter them until they can be permanently relocated to the United States. The plane carried 111 people, mainly women and children, who could be seen walking on the tarmac carrying small bags. Passengers had their temperatures checked upon arrival and will be taken to a camp that previously housed construction workers near Camp Bondsteel, a U.S. Army base about 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Pristina.More planes are expected to arrive in the coming days, a senior government official said. (Reuters)

    09:10 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: U.S. drone strike destroys Islamic State car bomb in Kabul, officials say

    American forces launched a drone strike in Kabul on Sunday that killed a suicide car bomber suspected of preparing to attack the airport, U.S. officials said, as the United States nears the end of its military presence in the Afghan capital. The strike, first reported by Reuters, was the second carried out by U.S. forces in Afghanistan since an Islamic State suicide bomber struck the airport on Thursday, killing 13 U.S. troops and scores of Afghan civilians trying to flee the country.One U.S. official said Sunday's strike was carried out by an unmanned aircraft and that secondary explosions following the strike showed the vehicle had been carrying a "substantial amount of explosive material. (Reuters)

    09:08 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Afghanistan's 'Gen Z' fears for future and hard-won freedoms

    When 20-year-old Salgy found out last week that she had topped some 200,000 students who took Afghanistan's university entrance exam this year, she was elated. For months, she had locked herself away in her room in the capital Kabul to study, sometimes forgetting to eat. With her family crowding round their solar-powered TV as the results came in, she realised her hard work had paid off. 'That was a moment when I felt someone gifted me the whole world,' Salgy, who like many in the country goes by one name, told Reuters. 'My mother cried out of happiness and I cried with her.'That feeling turned almost immediately to worry when she remembered the events of the previous weeks. Following the withdrawal of the bulk of the remaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the Taliban began a lightning advance across the country, culminating in the fall of Kabul on Aug. 15. 'We are faced with a very uncertain future, thinking what will happen next,' Salgy told Reuters. 'I think I am the luckiest and unluckiest person. 'Almost two third of Afghans are under the age of 25, and an entire generation cannot even remember the Taliban, who ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until it was toppled by Western-backed militia in 2001. During that time they enforced a strict interpretation of Islamic law, banning girls from school, women from work and carrying out public executions. Since 2001, the militants fought an insurgency in which thousands of Afghans died. Since re-taking power, the group has been quick to reassure students that their education would not be disrupted, also saying it would respect the rights of women and urging talented professionals not to leave the country. But used to a life with cellphones, pop music and mixing of genders, Afghanistan's 'Generation Z' – born roughly in the decade around the turn of the millennium - now fears some freedoms will be taken away, according to interviews with half a dozen Afghan students and young professionals. 'I made such big plans, I had all these high reaching goals for myself that stretched to the next 10 years,' said Sosan Nabi, a 21-year-old graduate.'We had a hope for life, a hope for change. But in just one week, they took over the country and in 24 hours they took all our hopes, dreams snatched from in front of our eyes. It was all for nothing.' A Taliban spokesperson did not immediately respond to questions for this article. (Reuters)

    08:49 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Afghan official says 3 children killed in US strike on IS

    An Afghan official says three children were killed in a drone strike that U.S. officials said struck a vehicle carrying Islamic State suicide bombers. The official spoke on condition of anonymity out of security concerns. U.S. officials said the vehicle was carrying explosives and that the initial strike on Sunday set off secondary explosions. The American officials said the bombers planned to attack Kabul's international airport, where a massive airlift is still underway ahead of a Tuesday deadline for the withdrawal of U.S. forces. (AP) 

    08:49 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Blinken to host virtual ministerial meeting with key partners on Afghanistan

    US Secretary of State Tony Blinken on Monday will host a virtual ministerial meeting with key partners on Afghanistan, his spokesperson said. The countries that were listed by the US for the virtual ministerial meeting on Afghanistan include, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Qatar, along with the European Union and the NATO. "The participants will discuss an aligned approach for the days and weeks ahead," State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. (PTI)

    08:48 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: US is aware of reports of civilian casualties in drone strike in Kabul, says Pentagon

    The United States is aware of reports of civilian casualties in Kabul following its drone strike on an explosive-laden vehicle headed towards the Hamid Karzai International Airport, the Pentagon said. "We are aware of reports of civilian casualties following our strike on a vehicle in Kabul today," Capt Bill Urban, spokesman of the US Central Command, said. "We are still assessing the results of this strike, which we know disrupted an imminent ISIS-K threat to the airport," he added. Urban said the US would be deeply saddened by any potential loss of innocent life in the strike. (PTI)

    08:47 (IST)30 Aug 2021
    Afghanistan Taliban Live Update: Several rockets heard flying over Afghan capital Kabul, targets unclear

    Several rockets heard flying over Afghan capital Kabul, targets unclear: AFP (ANI)

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