US evacuates 3,000 as Taliban revenge fears grow: Live news

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US evacuates 3,000 as Taliban revenge fears grow: Live news

US evacuates a total of 9,000 people since August 14 as UN document says Taliban is conducting ‘targeted door-to-door visits’.

Evacuees boarding a C-17 Globemaster III at Kabul airport [Nicholas Guevara/US Marine Corps/AFP]


Tamila Varshalomidze

20 Aug 2021

The United States has evacuated about 3,000 more people from Afghanistan’s Kabul airport, according to a White House official, bringing the US evacuations tally to about 9,000 since August 14.

Meanwhile, a United Nations threat assessment report says Taliban fighters are conducting “targeted door-to-door visits” of people who worked with the US and NATO forces, increasing the fear of revenge.

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kabul, said the report “added to the general pressure to try to get out of Afghanistan”, but getting to the Kabul airport for evacuation flights became even harder.

“We know that the Taliban has closed off the road leading to the airport as a way to try to restrict the flow of people there as the evacuation flights by the US military continues,” he said.

Meanwhile, rights group Amnesty International has published a report, accusing the Taliban of killing nine ethnic Hazara men in Ghazni after the group’s takeover of the province last month.

Here are the latest updates:

4 seconds ago (08:17 GMT)

Relative of Deutsche Welle reporter was killed by Taliban

Taliban fighters hunting a journalist with Deutsche Welle have shot dead one member of his family and severely injured another, the German public broadcaster says.

Deutsche Welle (DW) said the Taliban had been doing a house-to-house search to find the journalist who was now working in Germany. Other relatives were able to flee and are on the run now, according to the broadcaster.

“The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban … is inconceivably tragic, and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves,” DW Director General Peter Limbourg said, calling on the government in Berlin to take action.

23 mins ago (07:54 GMT)

Taliban to allow men’s cricket, no clarity on women’s programmes

The Taliban says it will not interfere with the Afghan men’s national cricket team, the country’s biggest sporting success of recent years, or stop the expansion of the flagship Twenty20 league, an Afghan cricket official says.

The fate of much more modest women’s cricket programmes, however, remains unclear.

“The Taliban don’t have any issue or problem with cricket, and they have told us that we can continue our work as planned,” said Afghanistan Cricket Board head of media operations Hikmat Hassan, adding that the team was ready for three one day matches against Pakistan next month.

An Afghan family at the Pakistan-Afghanistan border crossing point in Chaman [Stringer/AFP]

39 mins ago (07:38 GMT)

‘Messy’ picture of reprisals in Afghanistan’s provinces

Al Jazeera’s Rob McBride, reporting from Kabul, said the UN report on the Taliban targeting people who worked with the US and NATO forces contradicted the group’s assurances.

“The Taliban has been saying they have no interest in recriminations, reprisals,” he said. “But we do know that in the provinces, at local levels, there have been cases of people being targeted. There have been reprisals. People have been killed.”

“The question is how much is this the work of the Taliban even at a local level or how much is just a reprisal between individuals, between families or ethnic groups. It gets very messy and very confusing as you get out into the provinces of Afghanistan.”

2 hours ago (06:45 GMT)

Taliban behind brutal massacre of Hazara men: Amnesty

Taliban fighters massacred nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province last month, Amnesty International, a global rights watchdog, says in a new report.

It cited witnesses of the killings, which took place between July 4-6 in the village of Mundarakht, Malistan district.

“Six of the men were shot and three were tortured to death, including one man who was strangled with his own scarf and had his arm muscles sliced off,” Amnesty said, urging the UN Security Council to adopt an emergency resolution demanding that the Taliban respect international human rights law.

2 hours ago (06:41 GMT)

Taliban revenge fears grow in Afghanistan

The Taliban has been conducting “targeted door-to-door visits” of people who worked with US and NATO forces, according to a confidential document by the UN’s threat assessment consultants seen by the AFP news agency.

The report, written by the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, said Taliban fighters were also screening people on the way to Kabul airport.

“They are targeting the families of those who refuse to give themselves up, and prosecuting and punishing their families ‘according to Sharia law’,” Christian Nellemann, the group’s executive director, told AFP.

“We expect both individuals previously working with NATO/US forces and their allies, alongside with their family members to be exposed to torture and executions.”

2 hours ago (06:38 GMT)

US evacuates about 3,000 more people

The US evacuated about 3,000 people from Afghanistan’s Kabul airport on Thursday, a White House official says.

“The United States evacuated approximately 3,000 people from Hamid Karzai International Airport on 16 C-17 flights,” the official said in a media pool report on Friday, adding that nearly 350 were US citizens.

“Additional evacuees include family members of US citizens, Special Immigrant Visa applicants and their families, and vulnerable Afghans,” the official said, for a tally of about 9,000 evacuated by the military since August 14.

2 hours ago (06:36 GMT)

Taliban allowed to enter mosques with civilians

Taliban cadres are allowed to enter mosques with Afghan civilians for weekly Friday prayers, a Taliban official told Reuters news agency.

The official also said several countries and organisations have reached out to Taliban leaders for help in evacuating their nationals or employees from Kabul.

Taliban fighters stand guard along a road in Herat city [Aref Karimi/AFP]

2 hours ago (06:34 GMT)

NATO: 18,000 people evacuated since Taliban takeover

More than 18,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul airport since the Taliban took over the Afghanistan capital, a NATO official told Reuters news agency.

However, crowds continued to throng outside the airport, desperate to flee, said the official, who declined to be identified.

2 hours ago (06:29 GMT)

Indonesian air force evacuates citizens from Afghanistan

The air force of Indonesia has evacuated 26 of its citizens from Afghanistan, its foreign minister says.

Indonesia picked up 33 people in total on a plane that headed home via Pakistan, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Twitter.

“The plane is now in Islamabad to continue on to Indonesia,” she said, adding there were 26 Indonesians on board, including embassy staff, plus five Filipinos and two Afghan nationals.

For key developments from yesterday, August 19, go





Al Jazeera and news agencies

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