Chaos mounting again at airport as UN reports Taliban searching for Afghans who worked with foreign forces.
There was a growing sense of desperation at Kabul airport on Friday as people crowded to the civilian and military parts of Kabul Airport in an effort to escape the country.
The scenes come as a United Nations warned the Taliban is conducting targeted searches for Afghans who worked with the former government or foreign forces.
The United States has evacuated about 3,000 more people from Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, according to a White House official, bringing the US evacuations tally to about 9,000 since August 14.
Shabia Mantoo, spokesperson of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has welcomed the evacuation of Afghan nationals through such separate bilateral programmes, but stressed that they should not substitute for an “urgent and wider international humanitarian response”.
“The vast majority of Afghans are not able to leave the country through regular channels,” she told a Geneva news briefing. “As of today, those who may be in danger have no clear way out.”
She reiterated the call to neighbouring countries to keep their borders open to allow people to seek asylum in light of what she called the “evolving crisis”.https://0de2f4e471174e29ea3f473872dbbb83.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html
A United Nations threat assessment report says Taliban fighters are conducting “targeted door-to-door visits” of people who worked with the US and NATO forces, increasing the fear of revenge.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘Huge task’ remains at Kabul Airport to carry out evacuations – NATO Secretary General
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told Al Jazeera a ‘huge task’ remains to help evacuate people at Kabul airport amid the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
“We have been able to evacuate 1000s of people over the last two days, and the situation at the airport is much better now than it was in the beginning of the week, but we really recognise that it’s a huge task, he said from Brussels, Belgium.
Stoltenberg said NATO had “communicated clearly” to the Taliban that the group should provide a safe passage for those who want to leave the country – especially to the airport.
“Some NATO allies, and especially the US, have had operational tactical contacts with with the Taliban to make sure that happens. We have seen some progress but still it is a very difficult situation outside the airport, it’s very unpredictable.”
Gun shots continue at Kabul Airport: Al Jazeera correspondent
Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kabul, said gun shots were still being heard coming from the airport.
“It still remains very chaotic, very volatile. There are still lots of people thronging around the airport perimeter, wanting to get inside,” he said.
“At times the Taliban will force people away from the terminal – they’ve issued an order that people shouldn’t be there and should just go home.”
Uzbekistan sends 150 Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan – TASS
The foreign ministry of Uzbekistan has sent 150 Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan as per an agreement with the Taliban, Russian news agency TASS reported citing the ministry.
The refugees had been given security guarantees, the ministry was quoted as saying.
PODCAST: What can we expect from Taliban 2.0?
After two decades, Taliban rule is starting to look like the new normal in Afghanistan again. It’s a reality that has tens of thousands of Afghans running for their lives. But the new leadership is assuring Afghans that they are safe in Afghanistan. Will this be a softer, gentler version Taliban rule? Or are the end of women’s rights and public executions ahead?
To find out, we talk to one of our correspondents who has followed the Taliban for twenty years and watched them enter the room where deals were signed.
Desperation grows at Kabul airport as Afghan look to flee amid reports of Taliban reprisals
There was a growing sense of desperation at Kabul airport on Friday as people crowded to the civilian and military parts of the facility in an effort to escape the country following the takeover of the Taliban, before Western forces depart.
Meanwhile, a report compiled for the United Nations warned that the
Taliban is conducting targeted searches for supposed collaborators
with the former regime.
Hundreds of people were crowding around the civilian entrance to the
airport, located at a large roundabout, trying to enter the compound,
witnesses told dpa news agency.
Afghan ex-US army translator trapped in Kabul growing increasingly desperate
A former translator for the US army in Afghanistan told Al Jazeera she is growing desperate as she has tried and failed three times to escape from Kabul airport.
She said that even if it was possible to reach the airport past Taliban roadblocks, the airport was chaotic and crowded – with no system in place to deal with those most at risk who have the correct documentation to leave.“I had all my documents…everything was completed and I was expecting that they would do the evacuation in an orderly way.
I never expected it to be this disrespectful for us – for their Afghan allies,” she said, speaking under condition of anonymity.
She said she would have perhaps tried to escape via a third country if she’d known the evacuation would be so chaotic.“Right now the airport is blocked [by the Taliban], you cannot go to a third country right now.
They [the US] should sort this system out, and they should have all the embassy numbers, the case numbers for the applicants – and they should call us.”
5,800 American troops in Kabul to help with evacuations- official
There are currently about 5,800 US troops at Kabul airport to assist with evacuation efforts, a US official said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered about 6,000 troops to Kabul, a number that is expected to be reached in the coming days.