Afghanistan: Expert discusses anti-Taliban resistance
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Rescue aircraft are conducting the emergency procedures as thousands of Afghans continue to flee the Taliban via Kabul airport. Dramatic pictures have emerged of US war planes taking part in a rapid descent from the sky and landing suddenly on the airstrip.
A French military plane is also seen dropping half-a-dozen red flares, which is designed to disable heat-sensing technology stolen by ISIS fighters in the region.
The Taliban has seized control of the surrounding areas of the airport and it is unclear how much longer the terror group will allow flights out of the country.
The Taliban are not understood to be planning an attack on any of the rescue planes, but US officials fear ISIS militants could take advantage of the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
The US embassy has issued a security warning and described the threat from ISIS as “significant
One US official told CNN: “There is a strong possibility ISIS-K is trying to carry off an attack at the airport.”
Thousands of vulnerable people remain stranded in Kabul and Taliban forces have tightened their control of the airport.
Fighters continue to fire warning shots in the air and have used batons to keep orderly queues near the runway.
On Saturday, the airport descended into chaos and at least seven people are reported to have died during a crush.
Army Major General William Taylor said 5,800 US troops remain at the airport, which he insisted “remains secure”.
The Ministry of Defence said British armed forces have safely evacuated nearly 4,000 people from Afghanistan since August 13.
Every passenger flying on a British aircraft goes to a passenger handling centre in Kabul.
The UK’s ambassador to Afghanistan said 5,000 people have boarded rescue planes in the past 24 hours, but acknowledged there was still so much more work be done.
Sir Laurie Bristow tweeted: “I am in the evacuation handling centre in Kabul where our soldiers, our diplomats and all the forces have been working around the clock to get our British nationals, Afghan colleagues and Embassy staff to safety.
“It’s a huge effort. So far we have managed to get over 5,000 people on to planes and in the last 14 hours alone we’ve managed to get a thousand people on their way. But there is still a huge amount of work to do.
“I’d just like to say thank you to all of our colleagues here in Kabul, in London and elsewhere around the region who are working around the clock to get as many people to safety as we can.”
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This afternoon Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed a crisis virtual meeting of G7 leaders’ will take place on Tuesday.
The UK holds the rotating leadership of the G7, which also includes the US, Italy, France, Germany, Japan and Canada.
Mr Johnson said: “It is vital that the international community works together to ensure safe evacuations, prevent a humanitarian crisis and support the Afghan people to secure the gains of the last 20 years.”
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