Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Highlights: Taliban largely seal off Kabul airport as airlift winds down

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Updated: August 28, 2021 11:20:28 pm

Afghanistan Latest News, Afghanistan Terror Attack Highlights, Afghanistan-Taliban-Kabul Crisis Highlights: The airstrike came a day after US President Biden vowed to "hunt" down the terrorists and make them "pay" for the Kabul airport attack.

Afghanistan Taliban Crisis Live, Afghanistan Terror Attack LiveAfghanistan Taliban Crisis Live, Afghanistan Terror Attack Live

Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today August 28 Highlights: The crisis is deepening further in Afghanistan with every passing day. Those still stuck in Afghanistan are racing against time as the evacuation deadline of August 31 comes closer. In less than 48 hours after a suicide bombing by ISIS-K killed at least 13 US soldiers and 169 Afghan civilians, the US has launched a drone strike against an Islamic State attack “planner” in eastern Afghanistan. The US President Joe Biden on Thursday said that the perpetrators cannot hide, and he vowed to strike back at the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate. “We will hunt you down and make you pay,” he said after the ISIS-K bombing in Kabul.

After the Taliban took control of Afghanistan on August 15, many are trying to flee the country as the future is still unclear. As the situation continues to deteriorate in Afghanistan, several nations intensified evacuation efforts. In fact, the Kabul attack forced countries to speed up their evacuation efforts. Several countries like Turkey and Spain have reached the completion of airlifting operations. The US has so far evacuated over 110,000 people from Afghanistan. The Taliban has rejected the offer to extend the August 31 deadline for evacuation.

But what happens to those who are still in Kabul? There are already reports of the Taliban fighters conducting surveys and making a list. The Taliban gunmen have erected 15 check-posts on the way to the Kabul Airport. The situation is already very critical. It is anybody’s guess as to what will happen to those practically living under the sky for so many days once the Western forces leave Afghanistan.

In the meanwhile, the evacuation of civilians at Kabul airport is continuing at a “very fast pace”, said a Western Official.

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

Live Blog

Highlights

    23:20 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Iran supreme leader blames US for "tragedies in Afghanistan"

    Iran's supreme leader has called the situation in Afghanistan a tragedy and blamed the U.S. for the problems there.

    Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in his first official meeting with new president Ebrahim Raisi's Cabinet on Saturday said "the tragedies in Afghanistan are deeply affecting human beings (and were) made by America."

    "The hardships they are suffering, the incidents that are happening, Thursday's incident, such killings, all by America," he said.   At the Kabul airport, thousands are still gathering in hope of fleeing the country after the Taliban takeover, even after a suicide attack Thursday killed 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members and amid warnings of more attacks. A massive U.S.-led airlift is winding down.Khamenei said Americans "occupied" Afghanistan for 20 years. (AP) 

    22:44 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    India bringing people, holy scriptures from Afghanistan despite many challenges: PM Modi

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that despite many challenges India is evacuating its people from Afghanistan, asserting that if any Indian is in trouble anywhere in the world, the country stands up to help him with all its might.The prime minister, who was speaking after dedicating to the nation the renovated complex of Jallianwala Bagh memorial in Amritsar through video-link, said that not just people, India has been able to bring back holy scriptures -- 'swaroop' of Guru Granth Sahib -- from Afghanistan.Citing Gurbani, Modi said that happiness emanates from serving others and understanding their pain."So today, if any Indian is in trouble anywhere in the world, then India stands up to help him with all its might. Be it the Corona period or the current crisis of Afghanistan, the world has experienced it continuously. Hundreds of people from Afghanistan are being brought to India under Operation Devi Shakti," the prime minister said.India's complex mission to evacuate its citizens and Afghan partners from Kabul after its takeover by the Taliban has been named 'Operation Devi Shakti'."There are many challenges. The circumstances are difficult but we also have 'Guru Kripa' ( blessings of gurus)," he said.The country has done its utmost to assist those in need in recent years, he said, adding that laws have been made taking inspiration from the teachings of Gurus.

    "In the past years, the country to discharge this responsibility has worked hard.  Keeping the lessons in humanity given by Gurus in the forefront, the country has made new laws for the people who have suffered," he said, in an apparent reference to the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019.According to the CAA, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014 and face religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.The Prime Minister said that current global conditions underline the importance of 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' and underscore the need for 'Aatmnirbharta and Aatmvishwas'. (PTI)

    22:27 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: U.S. attacks Islamic State after Afghan airport blast

    The United States attacked an Islamic State "planner" in Afghanistan in retaliation for a deadly bombing outside Kabul airport and said there was a high risk of further blasts as it winds up its mission to evacuate civilians and withdraw troops.

    U.S. and allied forces have been racing to complete evacuations of their citizens and vulnerable Afghans and withdraw by the Tuesday deadline set by President Joe Biden after two decades of American military presence in Afghanistan.

    Thursday's suicide blast, claimed by the Afghan affiliate of Islamic State, showed the peril of the mission, causing a bloodbath outside the gates of the airport where thousands of Afghans have gathered to try to get a flight out since the Taliban took control of Kabul on Aug. 15.

    The attack killed scores of Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, the most lethal incident for U.S. troops in Afghanistan in a decade.

    President Joe Biden promised on Thursday that Washington would go after the perpetrators, and U.S. Central Command said the drone strike took place overnight in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul and bordering Pakistan.

    "Initial indications are that we killed the target," a U.S. military statement said.

    Spokesmen for the Taliban, which took over Afghanistan as U.S. forces withdrew, did not comment on the drone strike.

    The Taliban, hardline Islamist militants, are enemies of Islamic State and have said they have arrested some suspects involved in Thursday's airport blast. (Reuters) 

    22:00 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: US soldiers have left three gates and some other parts of Kabul airport 

    US soldiers have left three gates and some other parts of Kabul airport and now Taliban forces control these areas, Taliban says: TOLOnews

    21:29 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Last British flight evacuating civilians from Afghanistan has left Kabul

    Last British flight evacuating civilians from Afghanistan has left Kabul, bringing to an end an operation that has airlifted almost 15,000 Afghan and British citizens in the two weeks since the Taliban took control (Reuters)

     
    21:13 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Approximately 6,800 people were evacuated from Kabul in the last 24 hours, White House says

    Approximately 6,800 people were evacuated from Kabul in the last 24 hours. Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 111,900 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 117,500 people: White House

    20:57 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Russia wants CSTO security alliance to boost cooperation over Afghanistan     

    Moscow will work more closely with fellow members of a post-Soviet security alliance as the withdraw of U.S. forces from Afghanistan raises regional security risks, Russia's defence minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.

    The U.S. exit from Afghanistan has created a security headache for Moscow, which sees former Soviet Central Asia as part of its southern defensive flank and fears the spread of radical Islam.

    Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow had stepped up contacts within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Moscow-led alliance that groups six former Soviet states.

    "We're in close contact with CSTO members over Afghanistan ... That's why our interaction within CSTO should be strengthened," Shoigu was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.

    He said the risk of Afghan militants crossing into neighbouring countries had spread following the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country this month as U.S. forces withdrew.

    Drug trafficking is another concern, he added.The CSTO said on Friday it would hold military exercises in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan from September to October involving several thousand troops due to the situation in Afghanistan.

    Shoigu said an ongoing programme to rearm the armies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would continue. (Reuters) 

    20:45 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: "We did our best" on Kabul evacuation, NATO representative says

    Staff involved in efforts to evacuate as many people from Kabul as possible after the Taliban seized power did their best in extremely difficult conditions, NATO's senior civilian representative to Afghanistan said on Saturday.

    "We have a clean conscience ... because with what we had, we did our best under the circumstances," Italian diplomat Stefano Pontecorvo told reporters on arriving in Rome.

    Pontecorvo, who left Afghanistan on Friday when the last Italian flight departed, said those involved in the evacuation crossed the line between possible and impossible to get everybody they could out of the country.

    "We have left a few behind which we are not abandoning but we will strive our best to take back home," he told reporters. 

    Italian military planes have taken more than 4,800 Afghans out of the country as of Aug. 27, including more than 1,400 children, the defense ministry has said.Foreign minister Luigi Di Maio praised Italian diplomats and military officials for their contribution to the evacuations of the civilians."We have evacuated more Afghan nationals than any other European Union country," he said. (Reuters)

    19:51 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: UK ambassador to Afghanistan says time has come to end airlift    

    Britain's ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, said on Saturday that the time had come to end an airlift which had evacuated almost 15,000 Afghan and British citizens over the past two weeks.

    "It's time to close this phase of the operation down but we haven't forgotten the people who still need to leave, and we will do everything we can to help them," he said in a statement at Kabul airport released by Britain's foreign ministry.  (Reuters) 

    19:30 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: US evacuates over 111,900 people from Afghanistan since August 14, says White House

    The US has evacuated and facilitated the shifting of approximately 111,900 people from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul since August 14, the White House has said.

    The US evacuated approximately 6,800 people in the time period between August 27 at 3:00 AM EDT and August 28 at 3:00 AM EDT, following the deadly suicide attack near the Kabul airport on Thursday, it said.  | Read More

    19:14 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: No more UK civilian flights to leave Kabul

    No more British flights purely for civilian evacuees will leave Kabul airport, but flights for British military personnel and a small number of Afghan evacuees will continue, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said on Saturday.

    Broadcaster Sky News said the last British flight purely for civilians had left Kabul airport overnight. (Reuters)

    19:00 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: UK and Germany seek common G7 approach on Taliban

    British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed the situation in Afghanistan on Saturday and agreed on the need for international aid and a common approach by the G7 to the future government of Afghanistan.

    "The Prime Minister and Chancellor resolved to work, alongside the rest of the G7, to put in place the roadmap on dealing with any new Afghan government discussed at last week's leaders' meeting," Johnson's office said in a statement.

    "The Prime Minister stressed that any recognition and engagement with the Taliban must be conditional on them allowing safe passage for those who want to leave the country and respecting human rights," the British statement added. (Reuters)

    18:41 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Russia wants CSTO security alliance to boost cooperation over Afghanistan    

    Moscow will work more closely with fellow members of a post-Soviet security alliance as the withdraw of U.S. forces from Afghanistan raises regional security risks, Russia's defence minister was quoted as saying on Saturday.

    The U.S. exit from Afghanistan has created a security headache for Moscow, which sees former Soviet Central Asia as part of its southern defensive flank and fears the spread of radical Islam.

    Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said Moscow had stepped up contacts within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a Moscow-led alliance that groups six former Soviet states.

    "We're in close contact with CSTO members over Afghanistan ... That's why our interaction within CSTO should be strengthened," Shoigu was quoted as saying by the RIA news agency.

    He said the risk of Afghan militants crossing into neighbouring countries had spread following the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country this month as U.S. forces withdrew.

    Drug trafficking is another concern, he added.The CSTO said on Friday it would hold military exercises in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan from September to October involving several thousand troops due to the situation in Afghanistan.

    Shoigu said an ongoing programme to rearm the armies of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan would continue.  (Reuters)

    18:21 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Afghans protest at Kabul bank, long ATM lines

    Hundreds of Afghans have protested outside a bank in Kabul as others form long lines at cash machines.The protesters Saturday at New Kabul Bank included many civil servants demanding their salaries, which they said had not been paid for the past three to six months.They said even though banks reopened three days ago no one has been able to withdraw cash. ATM machines are still operating, but withdrawals are limited to around $200 every 24 hours, contributing to the formation of long lines.Meanwhile, a U.N. agency warned that a worsening drought could leave millions in need of humanitarian aid.The economic crisis could give Western nations leverage as they urge Afghanistan's new rulers to form an inclusive government and allow people to leave after the planned withdrawal of all U.S. forces on August 31. (AP)

    18:01 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: UK ambassador to Afghanistan says time has come to end airlift

    Britain's ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, said on Saturday that the time had come to end an airlift which had evacuated almost 15,000 Afghan and British citizens over the past two weeks."It's time to close this phase of the operation down but we haven't forgotten the people who still need to leave, and we will do everything we can to help them," he said in a statement at Kabul airport released by Britain's foreign ministry. (Reuters)

    17:53 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Taliban largely seal off Kabul airport as airlift winds down

    The Taliban deployed extra forces around Kabul's airport Saturday to prevent large crowds from gathering after a devastating suicide attack two days earlier, as the massive U.S.-led airlift wound down ahead of an August 31 deadline. New layers of checkpoints sprang up on roads leading to the airport, some manned by uniformed Taliban fighters with Humvees and night-vision goggles captured from Afghan security forces. Areas where large crowds of people have gathered over the past two weeks in hopes of fleeing the country following the Taliban takeover were largely empty. (Reuters)

    17:43 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: "We did our best" on Kabul evacuation, NATO representative says

    Staff involved in efforts to evacuate as many people from Kabul as possible after the Taliban seized power did their best in extremely difficult conditions, NATO's senior civilian representative to Afghanistan said on Saturday."We have a clean conscience ... because with what we had, we did our best under the circumstances," Italian diplomat Stefano Pontecorvo told reporters on arriving in Rome.Pontecorvo, who left Afghanistan on Friday when the last Italian flight departed, said those involved in the evacuation crossed the line between possible and impossible to get everybody they could out of the country. (Reuters)

    17:09 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: China, US hold first military-level talks under Biden's presidency, discuss Afghan crisis

    China and the US discussed the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan during their first round of military-level talks after President Joe Biden came to power in January this year, a media report said on Saturday. Deputy director for the People's Liberation Army Office for International Military Cooperation Major General Huang Xueping held a video conference with his US counterpart Michael Chase last week. (PTI)

    16:29 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: UK starts to bring troops home as Kabul airlift winds down

    Britain began bringing troops home from Afghanistan as the country's evacuation operation at Kabul airport wound down Saturday, and the U.K.'s top military officer acknowledged, ``We haven't been able to bring everybody out.'' A Royal Air Force plane carrying U.K. diplomatic staff and soldiers landed at the RAF Brize Norton airbase northwest of London early Saturday morning. The troops from the 16 Air Assault Brigade were part of a contingent of 1,000 British soldiers based in Kabul to help run the airlift. Flights bringing U.K. citizens and Afghan civilians from the Afghan capital have largely ended, though the head of the British armed forces, Gen. Nick Carter, said there would be a ``very few'' more on Saturday. (AP)

    16:06 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Spain concludes evacuation of personnel from Afghanistan

    Spain has concluded its evacuation of personnel from Afghanistan, the government said.Two military planes carrying the last 81 Spaniards out of Kabul arrived in Dubai early on Friday, a government statement said. The planes were also carrying four Portuguese soldiers and 83 Afghans who had worked with NATO countries.Over the course of its rescue mission Spain evacuated 1,898 Afghans who had worked with Western countries, the United Nations or the European Union. (Reuters)

    15:47 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Afghanistan's economic crisis deepens as airlift winds down

    Hundreds of Afghans protested outside a bank in Kabul on Saturday and others formed long lines at cash machines as a UN agency warned that a worsening drought could leave millions in need of humanitarian aid. At the Kabul airport, thousands are still gathering in hope of fleeing the country, even after a suicide attack on Thursday killed 169 Afghans and 13 US service members and amid warnings of more attacks. The massive US-led airlift is winding down, with many Western nations having completed their own evacuation efforts ahead of Tuesday's deadline. The economic crisis, which predates the Taliban takeover earlier this month, could give Western nations leverage as they urge Afghanistan's new rulers to form a moderate, inclusive government and allow people to leave after the planned withdrawal of US forces on Aug 31. (AP)

    15:29 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: UK to conclude civilian evacuation from Afghanistan

    The UK will conclude its evacuation programme of civilians from Afghanistan on Saturday with only troops left to be flown out after that ahead of the August 31 exit deadline, Britain's Chief of Defence Staff said. General Sir Nick Carter said during media interviews on Saturday that the country should be "holding its breath" at the challenge ahead amid the threat posed by the local Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K) terror group, which has been behind suicide bombings this week as the airlift rescue operations have been underway. Carter said Britain is "not out of the woods yet" as the UK's evacuation efforts following the Taliban takeover draw to a close. (Reuters)

    14:48 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: World has 'abandoned' Afghanistan's new generation

    Until last week, Shabeer Ahmadi was busy covering the news in Afghanistan. But after a hasty and excruciating decision to leave his Taliban-controlled country for an uncertain future in Spain, he's helplessly glued to news feeds on his cellphone, following every twist in the dramatic end of the evacuation of Afghans from Kabul. The 29-year-old journalist and nine close relatives managed to board one of the evacuation planes and are now going through the lengthy asylum process while starting a new life in a northern Spanish city. But the future of thousands of Afghans who have not been able to escape, including members of his own family, is now the focus of his fears, Ahmadi said. (Reuters)

    14:31 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Britain says its final civilian flights will soon leave Afghanistan

    British troops will end their evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan on Saturday and many hundreds of Afghans entitled to resettlement in Britain are likely to be left behind, armed forces chief General Nick Carter said.British defence minister Ben Wallace said on Friday that the country was entering the final hours of its evacuation and would process only people who were already inside Kabul airport."We have some civilian flights to take out, but it is very few now," Carter told the BBC. "We're reaching the end of the evacuation, which will take place during the course of today. (Reuters)

    14:12 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Pakistani customs officials foil bid to smuggle weapons from Afghanistan

    Pakistani customs officials on Saturday claimed to have foiled a bid to smuggle arms into the country from Afghanistan by recovering foreign-made weapons used by the US and NATO forces. A Pakistan-bounded trailer truck was stopped at the Torkham border on Friday as it entered from the Afghanistan side, sources said. Officials recovered two M4A1 carbine rifles, seven Glock 9mm pistols, eight Beretta pistol barrels and ammunition from the vehicle, they said. An Afghan national has been arrested and the vehicle has been seized, they said. (PTI)

    13:57 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Canadian forces end evacuation efforts

    Canadian forces in Kabul ended evacuation efforts for their citizens and Afghans on Thursday, acting chief of the defence staff General Wayne Eyre said.He said Canada had evacuated or facilitated the evacuation of about 3,700 Canadian and Afghan citizens. (Reuters)

    13:23 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Britain to end evacuation from Afghanistan on Saturday

    British troops will end their evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan on Saturday, armed forces chief General Nick Carter said."We're reaching the end of the evacuation, which will take place during the course of today. And then it will be necessary to bring our troops out on the remaining aircraft," he told the BBC."We haven't been able to bring everyone out, and that has been heart-breaking. And there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground."  (Reuters)

    12:56 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Last Italian flight with Afghan refugees arrives

    Italy's final evacuation flight of refugees from Afghanistan has landed at Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport. The Italian Air Force C-130J with 58 Afghan citizens aboard arrived Saturday morning, some 17 hours after it departed from the Kabul airport and after a planned stopover. Also aboard were Italy's consul and a NATO diplomat who had coordinated evacuations at the Kabul airport. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Italy was prepared to work with the United Nations and with countries bordering Afghanistan on what he described as the ``more difficult phase.'' He said that consisted of efforts to evacuate other Afghan citizens who worked with Italy's military during its 20-year presence in Afghanistan but weren't able to get into Kabul airport in time for the evacuation flights. He didn't say how many still were eligible for evacuation to Italy.  (Reuters)

    12:20 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: Harris holds steady on Southeast Asia trip as crises loom

    In Singapore, in between a foreign policy speech and a roundtable talk about supply chain issues, Vice President Kamala Harris stopped to smell the flowers. Specifically, she checked out an orchid that the country named after her a light fuschia hybrid named Papilionanda Kamala Harris a diplomatic honor also bestowed on former President Barack Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden during past visits to the country. Oh, this is extraordinary, she marveled as she took a brief tour of the lush Flower Field room of Singapore's iconic Gardens By the Bay on Tuesday. It was a brief and rare moment of normalcy for Harris during a diplomatic trip chock full of extraordinary circumstances. Harris' weeklong trip to Singapore and Vietnam was shadowed from start to finish by the crisis in Afghanistan. Questions about the messy U.S. withdrawal dominated her first few days in Singapore and the attack that killed 13 Americans outside the Kabul airport caused her to nix a planned visit to California on her way home. (AP)

    11:56 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: ''We can't do enough'': Lawmakers flooded by evacuation pleas

    Tissue holders sit atop the conference table where the congressman's aides field frantic requests from constituents desperate for help in getting friends and loved ones out of Afghanistan before it's too late. The stories have poured in by the thousands with heartbreaking pleas not to be left behind. The tissues are used for crying breaks, one of the aides explained. (PTI)

    11:35 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: ''We can't do enough'': Lawmakers flooded by evacuation pleas

    Tissue holders sit atop the conference table where the congressman's aides field frantic requests from constituents desperate for help in getting friends and loved ones out of Afghanistan before it's too late. The stories have poured in by the thousands with heartbreaking pleas not to be left behind. The tissues are used for crying breaks, one of the aides explained.  (AP)

    11:24 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: GOP rift widens amid growing hostility to Afghan refugees

    As the US rushes to evacuate Americans and allies from the chaos of Afghanistan, a growing number of Republicans are questioning why the U.S. should take in Afghan citizens who worked side by side with Americans, further exacerbating divides within the party heading into next year's midterm elections. Little more than a week ago, as the Taliban's stunning takeover of Afghanistan still was snapping into focus, former President Donald Trump issued a statement saying 'civilians and others who have been good to our Country ... should be allowed to seek refuge.' (AP)

    11:01 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: U.S. on alert for further Kabul attacks in race to complete evacuations

    U.S. forces helping evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Taliban rule were on alert for more attacks on Friday after an Islamic State suicide bombing outside Kabul airport killed at least 92 people, including 13 U.S. service members.The White House said the next few days of an ongoing U.S. evacuation operation that the Pentagon said has taken about 111,000 people out of Afghanistan in the past two weeks are likely to be the most dangerous https://www.reuters.com/world/us/advisers-warned-biden-significant-danger-ahead-afghan-mission-official-2021-08-27.Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said https://www.reuters.com/world/pentagon-says-kabul-attack-carried-out-by-one-suicide-bomber-2021-08-27 the United States believes there are still "specific, credible" threats against the airport after the bombing at one of its gates. (Reuters)

    10:33 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: India's new COVID-19 cases jump to two-month high

    India on Saturday reported 46,759 new coronavirus infections, the most in nearly two months, as cases surged in the southern state of Kerala after a big festival.The South Asian country's total COVID-19 cases reached nearly 32.7 million and deaths rose by 509 to 437,370 in the last 24 hours, government data showed.Kerala, which last week celebrated a local festival, accounted for 70% of the new cases.India administered more than 10 million vaccine doses in the past 24 hours, a national record that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a "momentous feat" for the country ahead of fears of another surge in infections.India has administered more than 622 million vaccine doses in total, giving at least one dose to more than half of its 944 million adults. (Reuters)

    09:58 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: 'Didn't need to happen': Pentagon seeks answers for deadly attack

    By Wednesday night, U.S. intelligence agencies were near certain that an attack was imminent outside Kabul airport, triggering a State Department warning to American citizens to leave the area immediately.Just over 12 hours later, a suicide bomber walked through the large crowds to a gate manned by U.S. troops and detonated explosives, killing at least 13 U.S. service members and 79 Afghans.It was a tragic coda to America's 20-year war in Afghanistan, the largest loss of life for the U.S. military there in a decade, on the cusp of the full withdrawal of troops by Aug. 31 ordered by President Joe Biden.Among the most pressing questions as the U.S. military launches its investigation: How did the bomber make it through Taliban checkpoints? Why were U.S. troops in such a concentrated space when they knew an attack was imminent?"It was a failure somewhere," General Frank McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, told reporters hours after the attack, which was claimed by Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K). (Reuters)

    09:38 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: American forces keep up airlift under high threat warnings

    American forces working under heightened security and threats of another attack pressed ahead in the closing days of the US-led evacuation from Afghanistan after a devastating suicide bombing, and US officials said they had killed a member of the extremist group that the United States believes responsible for it. A US drone strike early Saturday in eastern Afghanistan killed a member of the country's Islamic State affiliate, US Central Command said. President Joe Biden has laid responsibility for Thursday's suicide bombing on that offshoot extremist group which is an enemy both to the West and to Afghanistan's Taliban and is known for especially lethal attacks. The death toll in Thursday's suicide bombing rose to 169 Afghans, a number that could increase as authorities examine fragmented remains, and 13 US service members. (AP)

    09:18 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: US evacuates over 109K people from Afghanistan since Aug 14, says White House

    The US has evacuated and facilitated the shifting of approximately 109,200 people from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul since August 14, the White House has said. It also said that the US evacuated approximately 4,200 people in 12 hours on Friday, following the deadly suicide attack near the Kabul airport on Thursday. "This is the result of 12 US military flights (9 C-17s and 3 C-130s) which carried approximately 2,100 evacuees, and 29 coalition flights which carried approximately 2,100 people," the White House said in its latest update of the evacuation figures on Friday. "Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 109,200 people. Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 114,800 people," it said. Meanwhile, Senator Roger Marshall led Representatives Jimmy Panetta and Mike Gallagher in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter to President Joe Biden, urging him to safely evacuate American citizens, Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants and other at-risk populations, including women and children, from Afghanistan. (PTI)

    09:17 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: France ends evacuations at Kabul airport

    France ended evacuation operations on Friday and its team at the makeshift French Embassy at Kabul's airport pulled up stakes. Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Defence Minister Florence Parly announced that evacuations drew to a close with nearly 3,000 transferred out of Afghanistan. "The team at France's embassy in Kabul reached Abu Dhabi before returning to France," the statement said, suggesting that Ambassador David Martinon was returning home, too. A French base in Abu Dhabi has been the transit points for French evacuees before heading to Paris. President Emmanuel Macron had said on Thursday that the ambassador and other diplomatic staff would leave Kabul "in the next few days" aboard one of the last French flights out. He said the ambassador would maintain his posting but "for security reasons he will be operating from Paris" for the time being. (AP)

    09:15 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: US tells citizens to leave Kabul airport gates 'immediately'

    US tells citizens to leave Kabul airport gates 'immediately', reports AFP news agency (ANI)

    08:51 (IST)28 Aug 2021
    Kabul Afghanistan Taliban Crisis News Today Live: US says it wants 'deeds, not words' from Taliban to recognise it diplomatically

    The US has said it expects "deeds, not words" and "follow through" on pledges by the Taliban to recognise the group diplomatically. Addressing a press conference on Friday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the Taliban has made clear that they would "they would like to see an American diplomatic presence remain" in Afghanistan. They "have been quite clear and quite open in the fact that they would like other countries to retain their diplomatic missions," he said, adding that a Taliban spokesperson had said the other day that "we appreciate the embassies that remain open and didn't close. We assure them of their safety and protection". Price said the US is yet to take a call on the issue, but "it is something we are actively discussing, both with our partners and thinking about here as well". "We are not prepared to answer them today, precisely because we have heard a range of statements from the Taliban. Some of them have been positive, some of them have been constructive, but ultimately what we will be looking for, what our international partners will be looking for are deeds, not words," he said. (AP)

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