UK military arrives in Kabul to evacuate British nationals from Taliban-gripped capital
US Air Force officials have confirmed that human body parts were discovered in the wheel well of a US C-17 cargo plane that left the international airport in Kabul amid chaotic scenes.
The Air Force has not said how many people died, but that it was probing “the loss of civilian life.”
Meanwhile, the leader of the Taliban in Afghanistan landed at Kandahar airport, as the Islamist group gave their first press conference on Tuesday.
A spokesman for the Taliban said Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar Akhund arrived earlier today with his delegation, he is widely tipped to become the next country’s leader.
The group gave their first press conference to the media where Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the group “don’t want to repeat any conflict” and added that women’s rights would be respected within Islamic law.
It comes after the group said that it will accept women in a future government in Afghanistan and announced a more general “amnesty” in the country.
But there have already been reports of recriminations taking place, with Afghanistan’s UN ambassador warning the body’s Security Council of images allegedly showing “mass executions of military personnel and [targeted] killing of civilians” in various cities.
Meanwhile, the UK’s foreign secretary Dominic Raab said the situation at Kabul airport was “stabilising” on Tuesday morning after thousands of panicked people took to the runway in an attempt to flee the country.
Pictures of vandalised statue of slain Hazara leader emerge
Pictures emerging on social media show a vandalised statue of slain Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari, allegedly attacked by the Taliban, right after the hardline group claimed law and order will be upheld.
Tweeted by rights activist Saleem Javed, the photos show the now desecrated statue in Bamiyan, a place where a Buddha statue was vandalised by Afghanistan in 2001.
Abdul Ali Mazari, a leader from the minority Hazara community which has been under repeated attacks from the militant group in the past, was killed by the Taliban in 1995.
Stuti Mishra18 August 2021 06:26
Is the new media-savvy Taliban is here to stay?
There they sat, beneath black and white flags, in their black and white Pashtun robes, looking not wholly unlike an Isis hostage video, with the slight tweak to the format being that the hostage was not an unlucky IT contractor from Wisconsin but an entire country.
It says “Everybody has been pardoned,” and there will be no revenge. It also assures women’s rights will be provided “within the framework of Sharia”.
The new Taliban is smarter than the last time. It’s learnt that it pays to just say it’s doing one thing while actually doing the complete opposite. Is the new media-savvy Taliban is here to stay? Tom Peck has the story.
Stuti Mishra18 August 2021 05:44
Biden popularity drops in new poll in wake of Afghan chaos
Joe Biden’s popularity has slumped by 7 percentage points to its lowest level in the wake of the chaotic scenes as the Taliban swept back into power in Afghanistan, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.
The national opinion poll, which was conducted on Monday, found that 46 per cent of American adults approved of Biden’s performance in office, the lowest number since he took office in January.
That was down from 53 per cent who felt that way in a similar poll carried out on Friday, according to Reuters.
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 05:01
Air Force launches investigation after body parts found in wheel well of Kabul flight
Air Force officials confirmed that human body parts were discovered in the wheel well of a US C-17 cargo plane that left the international airport in Kabul amid chaotic scenes.
The plane was mobbed by Afghan people desperate to escape on a flight out of the country, with some seen climbing on the outside of the aircraft as it took off, and even fell from it as it climbed into the sky.
The Air Force has not said how many people die, but that it was probing “the loss of civilian life.”
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 04:21
Canada not planning to recognise Taliban
Canada says it does not plan on recognising the Taliban as Afghanistan’s official government, after it swept into power in Kabul this week.
“Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as the Government of Afghanistan,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Tuesday.
“They have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force.”
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 03:43
Why did US leave Afghanistan and how much did America spend?
The US is fully withdrawing fromAfghanistan, leaving the country after 20 years of war and more than 100,000 lives lost between Afghan civilians, military, coalition troops and militant fighters.
In the wake of the pull-out, critics from both sides of the political aisle have criticised Joe Biden’s decision to end the US’s presence in the country.
Graig Graziosi has the story.
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 02:58
Afghanistan: White House aide clarifies comments to insist that all Americans will be brought back home
Joe Biden’s National Security Adviser has clarified his comments to insist that all Americans will be brought home from Afghanistan.
Jake Sullivan took to Twitter to confirm that the Biden administration is committed to achieving that goal before US troops leave the country at the end of the month.
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 02:17
US military evacuated 1,100 US citizens on Tuesday
Officials say the 1,100 US citizens left Afghanistan on 13 flights, officials said.
Earlier lawmakers were told that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 US citizens in the country, tweeted CNN’s Kaitlan Collins.
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 01:37
US government watchdog issues scathing report on America’s efforts in Afghanistan
A US government watchdog has issued a scathing report on America’s efforts in Afghanistan.
The report was issued amid the chaotic scenes in the country, which has seen the government collapse and the Taliban sweep back into power.
Graeme Massie18 August 2021 01:30
A recap of today’s developments:
- The UK government pledges to take in 20,000 Afghan refugees over five years
- President Biden and PM Boris Johnson have their first talk about the Taliban takeover
- US Air Force said human were remains found in wheel well of USAF C-17 aircraft bound for Qatar from Kabul
- UN Human Rights Council announces that it will hold special session on Afghanistan crisis next week
- The EU said it will engage with the Taliban since they have “won the war” in Afghanistan
- The Taliban has promised to the US that it will allow a safe passage for civilians to reach Kabul airport
- Afghan women protest on the streets of Kabul for their rights to live in a fair and just society
- Taliban holds first press conference where spokesperson says women’s rights to be respected within Islamic law
- Afghan women will be expected to wear hijab but not burkha, Taliban spokesperson says
- Taliban spokesman claims that the group does not want anymore conflict or war
- Afghanistan must not slip “back to a hotbed for international terrorism”, UK Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said
- Russia claims that Afghanistan under the Taliban is better than it was under President Ashraf Ghani
- Surreal footage emerges showing Taliban members riding bumper cars and attempting to use gym equipment in Kabul
Lamiat Sabin18 August 2021 01:00