Missiles hit Kabul, evacuations continue

(Kabul) On Monday morning, missiles flew over Kabul, on the eve of the planned withdrawal of the US army in Afghanistan, which is carrying out its final evacuations in an extremely tense climate.

Posted on August 29, 2021 at 8:59 pm Updated August 30, 2021 at 12:13 pm

David FOX Agence France-Presse

The location where these missiles landed is not identified, nor the targets they were aimed at.

There are no more than 300 Americans to be evacuated from the country, said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday. “We work tirelessly these hours and days to get them out of there,” he said 48 hours before the US withdrawal deadline on ABC.

Around 114,400 people, including almost 5,500 American citizens, have been evacuated from Afghanistan by a gigantic airlift since August 14, on the eve of the Taliban’s conquest of Kabul.

The last phase of the evacuation operations was hampered by the attack on Thursday near the airport in the Afghan capital, in which around 100 people were killed, including 13 American soldiers and two British, according to the Islamic State in Khorasan (EI-K).

Joe Biden greeted the remains of the 13 deceased on the tarmac at the military base in Dover, Delaware on Sunday. The US president is under fire for his handling of the Afghanistan crisis.

American strikes

In retaliation for Thursday’s attack, the US carried out a drone attack on Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing two “high-ranking” members of the Afghan branch of ISIS and injuring a third “.

On Sunday they destroyed a vehicle loaded with explosives in order to suppress “an impending threat” from IS-K to the airport. A Taliban spokesman confirmed that a car bomb was destroyed on the way to the airport, adding that a likely second blow struck a nearby house.

PHOTO KHWAJA TAWFIQ SEDIQI, ASSOCIATED PRESS

A car was destroyed after the US air strike on Sunday.

Were there civilian victims? “We know that there were large and powerful explosions as a result of the destruction of the vehicle, which indicated the presence of a large amount of explosive material inside, which may have caused additional casualties,” he said) Sunday night. “It’s not clear what happened and we’re still investigating.”

Before the release of this statement, the American broadcaster CNN had announced that nine family members, including six children, were killed in the strike on Sunday in the overcrowded capital, where thousands of Afghans are still trying to flee the Taliban. AFP was unable to confirm this figure, but local media also reported civilian casualties.

What happens after the Tuesday 31 August deadline? Washington will videoconference with its “key partners” (France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK, Turkey, Qatar, European Union and NATO) on Monday to discuss “a concerted approach” to the US State Department took a position on Sunday in a statement.

Antony Blinken will speak after the meeting to cover recent US actions in Afghanistan.

A meeting of the permanent members of the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan will also take place on Monday at the United Nations. France and the UK will work to create a “safe zone” in Kabul to carry out humanitarian operations, French President Emmanuel Macron told the weekly Le Journal du Dimanche.

Western countries have finished their evacuations in the past few days, but there are still people in Afghanistan who can still invoke them.

In that regard, a hundred countries, including the United States, France and the United Kingdom, announced in a statement on Sunday that they had received a pledge from the Taliban to allow all foreigners and Afghan nationals to leave the country with permission to settle elsewhere leave, even after the withdrawal of American troops planned for Tuesday.

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace estimates that up to 1,100 Afghans who can travel to the UK have been left behind. London will welcome them if they manage to leave the country by other means after the deadline.

The N.1 Taliban “will appear soon”

The Taliban announced details on Sunday about their Supreme Leader, Hibatullah Akhundzada, who has never appeared in public. “He is in Kandahar (south). He lived there from the beginning, ”said their spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid. “He will be making public appearances soon,” added deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi.

Thursday’s attack caused the Taliban and the Americans to work more closely together. When the first have blocked the roads leading to the airport, they allow buses with passengers whose names are on American lists, a Taliban official told the AFP news agency.

Since their return, the Taliban have tried to create an image of openness and moderation, which nonetheless leaves many countries and observers skeptical.

Acting higher education minister of the Taliban government, Abdul Baqi Hazzani, said on Sunday that Afghan women could study at the university, but in same-sex classes, and the new regime also signaled its intention to offer a program of “Islamic and sensible” education there.

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