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Afghanistan: US tells citizens to avoid Kabul airport

  • Sun Online Desk
  • 21st August, 2021 11:37:26 PM
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The US has warned its citizens to avoid Kabul airport amid continued chaos outside the terminal.

A security alert issued on Saturday told US citizens to stay away due to "potential security threats outside the gates".

Only those individually told to make the journey by a US government representative should do so, it said.

The advice comes as thousands try to escape from Afghanistan via the airport following the Taliban takeover, BBC reported.

The militant group swept across the country and captured the capital Kabul on August 15. Since then, tens of thousands of Afghans - as well as foreign nationals - have headed to the airport in a bid to flee the country.

In a briefing on Saturday, the US Department of Defense said 17,000 people have been flown out of the airport, including some 2,500 US citizens.

Other countries have also warned about the situation on the ground.

Germany's government issued a statement saying the airport remains "extremely dangerous and access to the airport is often not possible", while the Swiss foreign ministry announced the security situation had "deteriorated significantly in the last few hours" and postponed a chartered evacuation flight from Kabul.

US forces are currently controlling the international airport. They are helping to evacuate their own citizens and those of other countries, including Afghans who worked with Western forces and fear for their safety under the Taliban.

But the US has set a withdrawal date of 31 August for their troops, and it is unclear what will happen after this date.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says several countries from the alliance have proposed that Kabul airport remain open for evacuations beyond 31 August to allow them to get more people out.