Conflicts & War

Taliban close Kabul airport for Afghans during foreign evacuations

Kabul, Aug 24 (EFE).- The Taliban Tuesday closed the Kabul airport for Afghan nationals to prevent chaos there, a move that will stop foreign countries from airlifting the vulnerable locals fleeing the Islamist militia rule.

The insurgents urged the United States not to encourage the Afghans to leave their country amid mass exodus after the Islamists swept into power ten days ago.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid appealed to the Afghans, asking them not to leave and stay in their country that needed their services.

Mujahid recalled the general amnesty for all Afghans in his second press conference since the Taliban takeover.

He assured that there would be no reprisal against anyone.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have fled the country, fearing the return of a repressive Taliban rule after Islamist insurgents ousted the western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.

Thousands more are waiting to get airlifted from the Kabul airport amid a looming Taliban deadline for foreign countries to evacuate their citizens.

“We are asking the Americans, please change your policy. Do not encourage the Afghans to leave,” Mujahid told reporters in Kabul.

He said the US should “encourage our engineers, our doctors, our military” not to leave the country.

“We need them, we need their talent. Do not take them to foreign countries.”

He said the Taliban closed the Kabul airport for the locals to control the mass departure.

“The Afghans are not allowed to go there now, foreigners are allowed.”

He said the situation at the airport was getting dangerous amid surging crowds.

“There may be a stampede.”

Mujahid alleged that the Americans shot at people when the situation at the airport got out of control.

“We want them to be safe. The Islamic Emirate is trying to reduce the crowd, reduce the rush.”

He said the Taliban were again urging the people who have fled to return home.

“Come back to your jobs, come back to your normal life, there is no danger for you.” EFE


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