Taliban blame US for airport chaos as Afghans face ‘unimaginable’ race to flee – Times of India

KABUL: The Taliban on Sunday blamed the United States for the chaotic evacuation of tens of hundreds of Afghans and foreigners from the capital, one week after the hardline Islamist group returned to energy in a fast victory that shocked the world.
The United States has warned of safety threats and the European Union admitted it was “impossible” to evacuate everybody in danger from the Taliban, who’ve vowed a softer model of their brutal rule from 1996-2001.
But terrified Afghans proceed to strive to flee, deepening a tragedy at Kabul airport the place the United States and its allies have been unable to address the massive numbers of individuals making an attempt to get on evacuation flights.
“America, with all its power and facilities… has failed to bring order to the airport. There is peace and calm all over the country, but there is chaos only at Kabul airport,” Taliban official Amir Khan Mutaqi stated.
Britain’s defence ministry stated Sunday seven individuals had died within the crowds, with out giving additional particulars.
A journalist, who was amongst a gaggle of different media employees and lecturers fortunate sufficient to get to the airport on Sunday for a flight, described determined scenes of individuals surrounding their bus on the best way in.
“They were showing us their passports and shouting ‘take us with you… please take us with you’,” the journalist advised AFP.
“The Taliban fighter in the truck ahead of us had to shoot in the air to make them go away.”
Britain’s Sky News on Saturday aired footage of at the least three our bodies coated in white tarpaulin outdoors the airport. It was not clear how they’d died.
Reporter Stuart Ramsay, who was on the airport, known as the deaths “inevitable” and stated individuals had been being “crushed”, whereas others had been “dehydrated and terrified”.
The footage was the most recent imagery of utter despair, after video of a child being lifted over a wall on the airport and horror scenes of individuals hanging onto departing planes.
The United States, which has hundreds of troops making an attempt to safe the airport, has set a deadline to full the evacuations by August 31.
But there are up to 15,000 Americans and 50,000 to 60,000 Afghan allies who want to be evacuated, in accordance to the Biden administration.
Countless others worry repression underneath the Taliban and are additionally making an attempt to flee.
US President Joe Biden has described the evacuation operations as “one of the largest, most difficult airlifts in history”.
The scenario was additional difficult on Saturday when the US authorities warned its residents to avoid the airport as a result of of “security threats”.
No particular cause was given, however a White House official later stated Biden had been briefed on safety threats, together with from the Islamic State jihadist group.
EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell gave a bleak evaluation of whether or not the airlift would succeed.
“They want to evacuate 60,000 people between now and the end of this month. It’s mathematically impossible,” he advised AFP.
Borrell added that “we have complained” to the Americans that their airport safety was overly strict and hampering makes an attempt by Afghans who labored for the Europeans to enter.
On Saturday, the Pentagon stated 17,000 individuals had been taken out for the reason that operation started on August 14, together with 2,500 Americans.
Thousands extra have left on different international navy flights.
The Taliban have been publicly content material with the US navy overseeing the airlift, whereas specializing in forming a authorities.
The group’s co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar flew into Kabul and deliberate to meet jihadi leaders, elders and politicians within the coming days, an official advised AFP.
Among them are leaders of the Haqqani community, a US-designated terrorist organisation with million-greenback bounties on its management.
The Taliban shocked the world after they swept into Kabul final week, ending twenty years of battle, dealing with just about no opposition from authorities forces that had been educated and outfitted by the US-led alliance.
However, there have been since been glints of resistance with some ex-authorities troops gathering within the Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, lengthy identified as an anti-Taliban bastion.
One of the leaders of the motion, named the National Resistance Front, is the son of famed anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud.
The NRF is ready for a “long-term conflict” however can also be nonetheless searching for to negotiate with the Taliban about an inclusive authorities, its spokesman Ali Maisam Nazary advised AFP in an interview.
“The conditions for a peace deal with the Taliban is decentralisation, a system that ensures social justice, equality, rights, and freedom for all.”

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