Afghanistan conflict LIVE: Blasts rock Kabul
Over 103 people were killed in the blasts near the Kabul airport on Thursday, days after Taliban overran Afghanistan and seized its capital on Aug 15. As many as 1,338 people have been injured and more people are likely to succumb to their injuries, a source in the Afghan Ministry of Health told Sputnik Friday. At least two blasts targeted Kabul airport and its outskirts. The Islamic State-Khorasan terrorist group reportedly claimed responsibility for the bombings. Thousands of people have been gathering outside the Kabul airport in recent days with western troops racing to evacuate foreigners and Afghans from the war-torn country by the Aug 31 deadline set by US President Joe Biden.
US CENCTOM confirms airstrike on vehicle in Kabul launched to eliminate ISIS-K threat29 Aug 2021, 09:30 pm
US Central Command spokesman Capt Bill Urban said on Sunday that US forces conducted an airstrike on a vehicle in Kabul to eliminate an "imminent" threat posed by the Islamic State-Khorasan terrorist group (ISIS-K, banned in Russia).
"US military forces conducted a self-defense unmanned over-the-horizon airstrike today on a vehicle in Kabul, eliminating an imminent ISIS-K threat to Hamad Karzai International airport," Urban said in a statement, circulated in the US media.
"We are confident we successfully hit the target. Significant secondary explosions from the vehicle indicated the presence of a substantial amount of explosive material. We are assessing the possibilities of civilian casualties, though we have no indications at this time. We remain vigilant for potential future threats," the CENTCOM official added.
Loud blast heard in Kabul29 Aug 2021, 08:28 pm
Two people were killed and three others injured, including women and children, when a rocket exploded in a residential area in the Afghan capital on Sunday, three days after a deadly suicide bombing killed nearly 200 people at the Kabul airport.
A rocket slammed into a house in the Khawja Bughra area in Kabul's 11th security district, which is west of the airport.
Dense plumes of smoke could be seen rising into the sky from the explosion. The rocket landed on a house in a crowded locality.
(With UNI inputs)
Another attack on Kabul airport 'highly likely' in next 24-36 hours: Joe Biden warns29 Aug 2021, 11:09 am
US President Joe Biden on Saturday warned of another terrorist attack on Kabul airport over the next 24-36 as the country is struggling to evacuate its citizens from the war-torn Afghanistan before Aug 31.
As the western troops are in the final phase of evacuation from the war-torn Afghanistan, Biden said: "The situation on the ground continues to be extremely dangerous, and the threat of terrorist attacks on the airport remains high. Our commanders informed me that an attack is highly likely in the next 24-36 hours."
More than 1,10,000 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan via the massive US-led airlift since the Taliban takeover on Aug 15.
Biden said that he had directed to take every possible measure to prioritize force protection, and "ensured that they have all the authorities, resources and plans to protect our men and women on the ground."
Last plane carrying British soldiers leaves Kabul airport29 Aug 2021, 11:08 am
The last aircraft carrying members of the British military has left the airport in the Afghan capital, the UK Ministry of Defence announced on Sunday, Sputnik reported.
Earlier on Saturday, UK Ambassador to Afghanistan Laurie Bristow said that the United Kingdom had evacuated almost 15,000 Britons and Afghans from Kabul in the past two weeks.
According to Bristow, almost 1,000 military, as well as diplomatic and civilian personnel, worked on the evacuation operation.
Image credit: Ben Wallace MP Twitter
We are still in charge of Kabul airport: US29 Aug 2021, 12:57 am
US has denied reports that the Taliban were shutting the gates of Kabul airport.
“There was some reports that the Taliban were shutting down the gates, and there was reporting that we were shutting down all evacuation operations in the course of the day. Those are not true, we are not shutting down evacuation operations, we are going to continue.
We are in charge of the airport, and we are in charge of security at the airport, and what was true a few days ago, is still true today. The Taliban have checkpoints around the airport’s loose perimeter. They are not manning the gates, they are not at the airport, or doing any security roles or anything like that," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby clarified on Saturday.
KABUL, Aug. 27, 2021 (UNI/Xinhua) -- An ambulance is seen at the explosion site near the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2021. The death toll from the Kabul airport attacks on Thursday has reportedly risen to at least 103. UNI PHOTO-6F
Threats are still very real : Kirby on possibility of more terror attacks in Kabul29 Aug 2021, 12:55 am
“Threats are still very real. They’re very dynamic, and we are monitoring them literally in real time. As I said yesterday, we’re taking all the means necessary to make sure we remain focused on that threat stream and doing what we can for force protection,” Pentagon press secretary John Kirby told reporters on Saturday when asked if more terror threats were likely.
It’s a good thing they're no longer walking on the face of the Earth: John Kirby on ISIS-K targets killed in drone strike29 Aug 2021, 12:51 am
The US drone strike in Afghanistan killed two 'high profile' ISIS-K targets and wounded another, and the fact that they are no longer walking on the face of the Earth 'is a good thing', Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said on Saturday, on the counter-terrorism operation conducted on the terror outfit that claimed responsibility for suicide bombings outside the Kabul Airport that killed nearly 200 people, including 13 US troops.
"I am not going to talk about specific capabilities the ISIS may have lost. In this strike they lost a planner and they lost a facilitator and got one wounded," he said.
"The fact that two of these individuals are no longer walking on the face of the Earth, that’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for the people of Afghanistan and it’s a good thing for the for our troops, for our forces at the airport," Kirby added.
"We aren’t thinking for a minute that what happened yesterday gets us in the clear. We believe hitting these targets will have an impact of ISIS-K," he further said.
US carries out airstrike against ISIS-Khorasan in eastern Afghanistan29 Aug 2021, 12:48 am
"US military forces conducted an over-the-horizon counterterrorism today against an ISIS-K planner. The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target," spokesman for the US Central Command Capt Bill Urban said.
UK ends Afghan evacuations with nearly 15,000 people flown out - Ambassador29 Aug 2021, 12:42 am
Almost 1,000 military, as well as diplomatic and civilian personnel worked on the evacuation operation, Bristow said in a video posted on Twitter.
"Nearly 15,000 British nationals, Afghan staff and others at risk have been evacuated from Kabul since Operation Pitting began - our commitment to the people of Afghanistan will endure," the diplomat tweeted, adding that "it's time to close this phase of the operation now."
Death toll in Kabul airport attack rises to 175: Report29 Aug 2021, 12:40 am
The death toll of the Kabul airport attack on Thursday has now reached 175 people, Taliban sources told Al Jazeera.
Among the dead were 13 US service members.
Afghans arriving in India will get six months visa: Foreign Ministry27 Aug 2021, 11:18 pm
Afghans arriving in India will get a visa for six months and the government "will take it" from there, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement on Friday.
This comes as the India's Union Home Ministry announced that all Afghan nationals must travel to India only using e-Visa amid the present crisis situation in Afghanistan.
"So they (Afghans) are currently coming here under the six-month visa programme. We will take it from there. That's the current plan for six months. This is an evolving situation. Making long term plans have not been the best of ideas," said India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi during a weekly press briefing.
India has evacuated over 550 persons from the war-torn country, including 260 Indian nationals, through six separate flights from Kabul.
Not two, but one suicide bomb attack at Kabul airport: US27 Aug 2021, 10:50 pm
Pentagon has said there was only one suicide bomb explosion and not two, as thought before, behind the Kabul airport attack.
“We do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron hotel, that it was one suicide bomber,” US Army Major General William Taylor told reporters at the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
After Kabul bomb attack, Taliban speeds up govt formation process27 Aug 2021, 10:21 pm
The Taliban is planning an inclusive caretaker government in Afghanistan, Taliban told Al Jazeera.
The caretaker government will include leaders from all ethnicities and tribal backgrounds in the country.
At least a dozen names are being considered to be part of the new government, the report said.
They said a supreme leadership council has been convened to decide the form of the future government and nominate ministers, stated the Al Jazeera report.
Ministers to the judiciary, internal security, defence, foreign affairs, finance, information portfolios as well as a special assignment for Kabul’s affairs are to be nominated.
Taliban co-founder Mullah Baradar is Kabul, while Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, son of Taliban founder Mullah Omar, has travelled from Kandahar for the initial consultations on government formation, Al Jazeera reported citing sources.
Turkish prez Erdogan holds first talks with Taliban27 Aug 2021, 08:51 pm
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Turkey held its first talks with the Taliban in Kabul, AFP reported.
"We have held our first talks with the Taliban, which lasted 3.5 hours," Erdogan told reporters, according to AFP. "If necessary, we will have the opportunity to hold such talks again."
World leaders condemn Kabul blasts27 Aug 2021, 08:06 pm
US President Joe Biden vowed to retaliate against the attack. “We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests in our people with every measure at my command,” he said.
“To those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, know this: We will not forgive; we will not forget.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also expressed grief and anger at the loss of lives.
“I strongly condemn the horrific terrorist attack outside Kabul airport. My thoughts are with all those affected and their loved ones,” he said on Twitter.
“Our priority remains to evacuate as many people to safety as quickly as possible,” added Stoltenberg.
“Clearly what this attack shows is the importance of continuing that work in as fast and as efficient a manner as possible in the hours that remain to us,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Shots fired at Kabul airport's Eastern entrance: Reports27 Aug 2021, 05:49 pm
Shots were fired close to the eastern entrance of the Kabul airport, Al Jazeera reported on Friday.
On Thursday, several blasts targeted Kabul airport and its outskirts, leaving over 100 people dead. The Islamic State-Khorasan terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Evacuation flights resume in Kabul on Friday27 Aug 2021, 05:43 pm
Several countries have said their evacuation has reached the final stage as they brace for more attacks ahead of the evacuation deadline of Tuesday, August 31.
Spain said Friday that it has finished evacuation from Afghanistan following the arrival of “the last two Spanish flights” in Dubai.
The UK said it is entering the final stages of its evacuation, with 1,000 leaving today, according to BBC.
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News overall the main processing has now closed and we have a matter of hours.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Friday his country has already ended its rescue operations in Afghanistan.
Norway’s Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said the country was closing evacuation for the remaining citizens from Afghanistan’s capital.
Blasts killed more fighters than US soldiers: Taliban27 Aug 2021, 05:37 pm
At least 28 members of the Taliban are among the people killed in explosions overnight outside the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, a Taliban official told Reuters news agency.
Taliban members standing at blast site in Kabul: Check out picture27 Aug 2021, 05:26 pm
A Taliban member is seen at the explosion site near the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2021.
Image credit: Xinhua/UNI
UK to evacuate only people who are at Kabul airport : Defence Ministry27 Aug 2021, 05:23 pm
The United Kingdom will only evacuate its citizens and others who are at the Kabul airport and will not take in new requests as the mission is entering its final stages, the UK Defense Ministry said on Friday.
"Following our pre-planned timetable, processing facilities inside the Baron Hotel in Kabul have been closed. This will enable us to focus our efforts on evacuating the British nationals and others we have processed and who are at the airport awaiting departure. … No further people will be called forward to the airport for evacuation," the ministry said in a statement.
Kabul airport to be unavailable for humanitarian supplies for at least 1 week, says WHO27 Aug 2021, 05:23 pm
The Kabul airport will be unavailable for humanitarian supplies for at least a week following the terrorist attacks, and international organizations are considering the possibility of using the international airport in Mazar-i-Sharif instead, World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Emergency Director Rick Brennan said on Friday.
"Due to security issues and other problems it won`t be an option. At least for a week," Brennan said at a briefing.
The Mazar-i-Sharif airport is an alternative that is currently under consideration, the WHO official added.
According to UN estimates, there are currently about 100 foreign and 3,000 local staff in Afghanistan.
Amrullah Saleh says Taliban have links to Islamic State27 Aug 2021, 05:20 pm
Amrullah Saleh, who has declared himself Afghanistan’s caretaker President, said that the Taliban's denying links to the Islamic State (ISIS) is identical to Pakistan's denial on the Quetta Shura, a militant group composed of leaders of the Afghan Taliban based within the city of Quetta in Balochistan province.
"Every evidence we have in hand shows that IS-K cells have their roots in Talibs & Haqqani network particularly the ones operating in Kabul. Talibs denying links with ISIS is identical/similar to denial of Pak on Quetta Shura. Talibs hv leanred vry well from the master," he tweeted.
Comparing with Pakistan, he said Taliban have learnt 'very well' from the 'master'.
Every evidence we have in hand shows that IS-K cells have their roots in Talibs & Haqqani network particularly the ones operating in Kabul. Talibs denying links with ISIS is identical/similar to denial of Pak on Quetta Shura. Talibs hv leanred vry well from the master. #Kabul— Amrullah Saleh (@AmrullahSaleh2) August 27, 2021
He said that every evidence in hand shows that the Islamic State –Khorasan, which claimed responsibility for Thursday’s deadly suicide blasts outside Kabul airport, have deep roots in the Taliban and the Haqqani network.
Taliban say 28 members died in Kabul blasts27 Aug 2021, 05:19 pm
At least 28 Afghan citizens, who were killed by a series of explosions in Kabul, were members of the Taliban Islamist movement, the Reuters news agency reported on Friday, citing a Taliban official.
On Thursday, at least four blasts targeted Kabul airport and its outskirts.
The Islamic State-Khorasan terrorist group reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks.
According to The Wall Street Journal, at least 103 people – 90 Afghan civilians and 13 US servicemen – have been killed in the attacks, while other media report about more than 150 injured people.