US presses on with evacuations despite fears of more attacks

2 months ago 14
PR Distribution

By SAYED ZIARMAL HASHEMI, TAMEEM AKHGAR, KATHY GANNON and CARA ANNA

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The United States pressed connected with the mammoth evacuation from Afghanistan connected Friday amid tighter information measures and fears of much bloodshed, a time aft the termination onslaught astatine the Kabul airdrome that killed scores of Afghans and 13 U.S. work members.

The U.S. warned much attacks could travel up of President Joe Biden’s fast- approaching deadline to retreat American forces from Afghanistan by Tuesday.

Two officials said the Afghan decease toll successful Thursday’s bombing roseate to 169, portion the United States said it was the deadliest time for American forces successful Afghanistan since August 2011. Biden blamed the onslaught connected Afghanistan’s offshoot of the Islamic State group, an force of some the Taliban and the West.

The officials who gave the Afghan decease toll were not authorized to speech to the media and spoke connected information of anonymity.

The Pentagon besides said Friday that determination was a bombing lone astatine the airdrome gate, not astatine 2 locations, arsenic U.S. officials initially said.

As the telephone to supplication echoed Friday done Kabul on with the roar of departing planes, the anxious crowds thronging the airdrome successful anticipation of escaping Taliban regularisation appeared arsenic ample arsenic ever contempt the bombing. Afghans, American citizens and different foreigners were each acutely alert the model is closing to committee a formation earlier the airlift ends and Western troops withdraw.

The attacks led Jamshad to caput determination successful the greeting with his woman and 3 tiny children, clutching an invitation to a Western state helium didn’t privation to name.

“After the detonation I decided I would effort due to the fact that I americium acrophobic present determination volition beryllium much attacks, and I deliberation present I person to leave,” said Jamshad, who similar galore Afghans uses lone 1 name.

The names of the Afghan victims began emerging and included an quality bureau laminitis on with a fig of impoverished Afghans who had gone to the airdrome successful hopes of realizing a amended life.

By the greeting aft the attack, the Taliban posted a pickup afloat of fighters and 3 captured humvees and acceptable up a makeshift obstruction 500 meters (1,600 feet) from the airport, holding the crowds farther backmost from the U.S. troops astatine the airdrome gates.

Gen. Frank McKenzie, caput of U.S. Central Command, said successful the hours aft the bombings that the U.S. would set its information extracurricular the airdrome gates arsenic needed, including perchance asking the Taliban to alteration the determination of their checkpoints.

McKenzie said American forces person to basal adjacent to would-be evacuees to marque definite they are not carrying immoderate weapons that could origin adjacent greater nonaccomplishment of beingness aboard a plane.

“Somebody has really got to ticker idiosyncratic other successful the eyes and determine that they’re acceptable to travel in” the airdrome gates, McKenzie said.

In an affectional code Thursday night, Biden vowed to implicit the evacuation and hunt down the Islamic State militants liable for the carnage. The group’s Afghanistan affiliate is which is acold much extremist than the Taliban fighters who seized powerfulness little than 2 weeks agone successful a lightning blitz crossed the country.

“We volition rescue the Americans, we volition get our Afghan allies out, and our ngo volition spell on,” Biden said.

The Taliban person wrested backmost power of Afghanistan 2 decades aft they were ousted successful a U.S.-led penetration pursuing the 9/11 attacks. Their instrumentality to powerfulness has terrified galore Afghans, who fearfulness they volition reimpose the benignant of repressive regularisation they did erstwhile they were past successful control. Thousands person rushed to fly the state up of the American withdrawal arsenic a result.

The U.S. said much than 100,000 radical person been safely evacuated from Kabul, but thousands much are struggling to permission successful 1 of history’s largest airlifts.

The White House said Friday greeting that 8,500 evacuees had been flown retired aboard U.S. subject craft successful the erstwhile 24 hours, on with astir 4,000 radical connected conjugation flights. That was astir the aforesaid full arsenic the time earlier the attacks.

Outside the airport, Afghans acknowledged that going to the airdrome was risky — but said they had fewer choices.

“Believe me, I deliberation that an detonation volition hap immoderate 2nd oregon minute, God is my witness, but we person tons of challenges successful our lives, that is wherefore we instrumentality the hazard to travel present and we flooded fear,” said Ahmadullah Herawi.

Many others volition effort to flight implicit onshore borders. The U.N. exile bureau said a half-million radical oregon much could fly successful a worst-case script successful the coming months.

But chances to assistance those hoping to articulation the evacuation are fading fast. More European allies and different nations were ending their airlifts Friday, successful portion to springiness the U.S. clip to wrapper up its ain operations and get 5,000 of its troops retired by Tuesday.

The Taliban person said they volition let Afghans to permission via commercialized flights aft the U.S. withdrawal, but it remains unclear which airlines would instrumentality to an airdrome controlled by the militants.

Untold numbers of Afghans, particularly ones who had worked with the U.S. and different Western countries, are present successful hiding, fearing retaliation contempt the group’s connection of afloat amnesty.

The caller rulers person sought to task an representation of moderation successful caller weeks — a crisp opposition to the harsh regularisation they imposed from 1996 to 2001, erstwhile they required women to beryllium accompanied by a antheral comparative erstwhile they near home, banned tv and music, and held nationalist executions.

Despite the promises, Afghans successful Kabul and elsewhere person reported that immoderate Taliban members are barring girls from attending schoolhouse and going doorway to doorway successful hunt of radical who worked with Western forces.

___

Akhgar reported from Istanbul, Gannon from Islamabad and Anna from Nairobi, Kenya. Rahim Faiez contributed from Turkey on with Associated Press writers astir the world.

___

More of AP’s Afghanistan coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan

Read Entire Article