(Kabul) The evacuations of foreigners and Afghans who fled the new Taliban regime began on Friday at Kabul airport after the attack by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group, in which at least 100 people were killed in the middle of the year. including 13 American soldiers, resumed the bulk of the exit candidates.
Posted on Aug 25, 2021 at 8:20 am Updated Aug 27, 2021 at 9:04 am
David FOX Agence France-Presse
The attack, which was committed at nightfall on Thursday, has been condemned by the Taliban authorities and many countries, including the United States and its allies, as well as Russia and China.
He increased the tension a step further, a few days before the deadline August 31 for the withdrawal of American soldiers from the country after 20 years of war, which meant an end to the evacuations.
The attack, a double suicide bombing, targeted the United States, which is organizing the evacuations, and Afghans among the thousands of those who have been camping outside the airport for days in hopes of countless flights for foreigners and Afghans who may be from the new Regime are threatened.
It slew its victims, some were thrown into the dirty water of a sewer that borders the entrance to the airport. And sowed panic, among other things, men, women and children ran in all directions to leave the area as quickly as possible.
“There are many women and children among the victims. Most people are shocked, traumatized, “an official from the former government, which was overthrown by the Taliban in mid-August, told AFP on Friday, telling AFP the new number of at least 100 dead and 150 injured, based on information from local hospitals.
However, many sources feared the death toll would continue to rise as local hospitals were attacked on Friday by people looking for loved ones who had disappeared at the airport the day before.
The double explosion also killed at least thirteen US soldiers and injured eighteen others, according to the Pentagon, making it the deadliest attack on the US military in Afghanistan since 2011.
In the face of the worst crisis since the beginning of his term of office and visibly shaken, US President Joe Biden reacted by promising to “hunt down” and “pay” the perpetrators of the attack. “We are not forgiven. America is not intimidated, ”he said in a martial tone.
Still determined to end two decades of a long, distant and bloody war for his country, Biden has hinted that the United States will continue the evacuation until their scheduled departure.
On Friday, the situation in Kabul appeared calm, particularly around the airport, where western charter flights were resuming on the airport tarmac, the last enclave in Afghanistan to be occupied by western forces.
After the attack, NATO and the European Union called for the evacuations to continue despite everything.
France indicated via Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune that it could pursue them “beyond” Friday evening, while it would like to be cautious given the uncertain security context.
Spain and Sweden announced on Friday that they had completed their evacuation flights, including Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Australia ahead of them. The British will be finished “in a few hours”, announced London on Friday morning.
The gigantic airlift that the West erected after the Taliban suddenly seized power in mid-August has so far made it possible to evacuate more than 100,000 foreigners and Afghans.
For his part, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Friday that his country had held initial talks with the Taliban in Kabul and was considering a proposal by the new masters of Afghanistan to manage the capital’s airport after the US withdrawal.
” Never again ”
Since their return, the Taliban have tried to keep an open and moderate image.
But many Afghans, often urban and educated, fear that the Islamists will only introduce the same kind of fundamentalist and brutal regime between 1996 and 2001.
Especially those who have worked with foreigners or the deposed pro-Western government in recent years fear being silenced or even harassed and have fed the flood of many exit candidates.
The Taliban, who enabled the US to complete the evacuations, are working to create the government they will put in place after the Americans have withdrawn.
But their jihadist rivals ISIS, who were also responsible for bloody attacks in the country in recent years, seemed to want to take advantage of the atmosphere of fever and chaos in Kabul, especially around the airport.
An Afghan witness to the attack by the name of Milad described to AFP “a huge explosion in the midst of the crowd waiting outside one of the airport gates,” where people enter, evacuated by Westerners.
Shocked by these “bodies and human fragments projected everywhere,” he says, in the confusion he lost the documents with which he hoped to escape with his wife and three children. “I never want to go (to the airport) again. Death to America, its evacuation and its visas, ”he added in disgust.
The injured “could not speak, many were afraid, lost their eyes in the dark, their eyes were blank,” tweeted the medical coordinator of the hospital of the Italian NGO Emergency, Alberto Zanin.
The new Taliban regime, through its spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, condemned these attacks in the strongest possible terms, while stressing that they had taken place in an area under the responsibility of the American army.
After the attack, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres convened the permanent members of the Security Council for a meeting on Monday on the situation in Afghanistan.