Taliban warns west against extending pull-out deadline

0
119

To manage the chaotic airlifting of foreigners and Afghans, thousands of soldiers have poured back into Afghanistan

News Desk

Kabul: The Taliban warned on Monday there would be “consequences” if the United States and its allies extend their presence in Afghanistan beyond next week, as chaos continued to overwhelm Kabul airport.

The Taliban takeover of the country last weekend shocked Western nations, coming just two weeks before an August 31 deadline for all troops to fully withdraw from the country.

To manage the chaotic airlifting of foreigners and Afghans — many of whom fear reprisals for working with Western nations — thousands of soldiers have poured back into Afghanistan, with pressure growing on Washington to extend the deadline.

But the Taliban, who have so far sought to strike a more moderate tone, showed no willingness to compromise on the US pullout.

“If the US or UK were to seek additional time to continue evacuations — the answer is no. Or there would be consequences,” Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News on Monday.

 Staying beyond the agreed deadline would be “extending occupation”, he added.

  The airport has been the scene of chaos since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on August 15 as US and international forces try to evacuate citizens and vulnerable Afghans. A NATO official has said that at least 20 people have died in and around the airport in the past week.

An Afghan security guard has been killed in a firefight between unknown gunmen and Afghan forces at the north gate of Kabul airport, the German military said, as thousands thronged the airport, seeking to flee Taliban rule.

Three more people were injured in the gun battle on Monday morning that has also involved German and United States forces, the German military said on Twitter.