Brussels, Aug 20 (EFE).- Nato on Friday said it will maintain a presence at Kabul international airport as long as evacuation efforts of Afghan colleagues and at-risk citizens continue.
In a statement, the Alliance’s foreign ministers called for the Taliban to “respect and facilitate their safe and orderly departure, including through Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.”
“Our immediate task now is to meet our commitments to continue the safe evacuation of our citizens, partner country nationals, and at-risk Afghans, in particular those who have assisted our efforts,” Nato said, amid reports of Taliban reprisals against Afghans who worked with its United States-led forces in the country.
The final withdrawal of the remaining US troops is slated to be completed by 31 August but President Joe Biden this week acknowledged that some personnel could remain beyond the deadline to complete the evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghan colleagues.
Nato-allied troops retain control over the military side of Kabul airport, while the rest of the capital is in the hands of the Taliban following its blistering capture of the country.
Earlier in the week, Italian NGO Emergency estimated that at least 10,000 people were scrambling to leave Kabul since it fell to the Taliban on Sunday, causing at-times chaotic scenes at the international airport.
The NGO’s center for war victims in the Afghan capital, which has a capacity of 100 beds, received 37 new patients, five of whom were admitted due to their critical condition following unrest at the airport, according to a statement Wednesday.
On Monday, 115 people were hospitalised at the center but the influx of patients has stabilized throughout the week.EFE