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News from Afghanistan – live: Taliban “will refuse extension of evacuation time”

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Thousands of protesters march through London to show support for Afghans

The Taliban will not allow Western forces to stay in Afghanistan after next Tuesday, warning that there will be “consequences” if the US and UK do not withdraw their troops by then.

Suhail Shaheen, spokesperson for the militant group, said the August 31 deadline set by the US president was a “red line” that must be respected.

It comes as Boris Johnson is expected to take advantage of an emergency meeting of G7 world leaders on Tuesday to call on US President Joe Biden to keep US forces in Afghanistan beyond this hour in order to allow flights to continue. evacuation.

Mr Biden said over the weekend that discussions were already underway on extending the deadline, but that “we hope we don’t have to.”

Meanwhile, a shootout broke out between Afghan security and “unknown attackers” at Kabul International Airport this morning, with the German military reporting that an Afghan soldier had died as a result of the incidents.

It was not immediately clear whether the attackers were part of the Taliban, which is occupying the outer perimeters of the airport or not. The group has so far resisted opening fire on NATO or Afghan troops inside the building.

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Taliban to refuse extension of evacuation deadline, sources say

The Taliban will not allow Western troops to stay in Afghanistan after the start of next week, sources said.

They told Reuters that no US or UK government official approached the militant group to extend the August 31 troop withdrawal deadline.

Rory sullivan23 Aug 2021 10:11

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Foreign ministry deploys more staff to Kabul

Five other members of the Foreign Ministry have been sent to Kabul to help the 14 already working there.

One of those new arrivals landed last night, followed by the other four this morning, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).

Government evacuation efforts in the Afghan capital are focused on around 1,800 British nationals and more than 2,200 Afghans who have assisted British forces.

Rory sullivan23 Aug 2021 09:55

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Video: Military planes evacuating Afghans launch flares amid Isis fears

Pilots flying at Kabul airport have started dropping flares and nose-down landings, fearing military planes could be targeted by terrorists.

Military planes evacuating Afghans drop flares, conduct “combat diving landings” amid fears of ISIS missile attacks

Rory sullivan23 Aug 2021 09:35

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Labor accuses government of ‘gross negligence’ on Afghanistan

Write in The independentShadow Home Secretary Nick Thomas-Symonds said large numbers of Afghan lives were at risk due to government “gross negligence”.

In one passage he writes:

“I am angry beyond words that the foreign minister was at the beach, having already been warned that he must do everything possible to ensure exits for our friends and allies. Dominic Raab’s behavior is unforgivable and his time in this office must now come to an end. “

Rory sullivan23 Aug 2021 09:30

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Taliban may not allow evacuations next month, warns UK defense minister

A British defense minister has warned that the Taliban may not allow the West to continue evacuations after the end of August.

It comes as Boris Johnson prepares to ask US President Joe Biden to extend the August 31 deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey told Sky News on Monday: “We have had these conversations with the Americans. It’s not just a decision being made in Washington – the Taliban gets a vote on it as well. “

“I think it is far from certain that the Taliban will be ready to let the international community expand beyond the end of the month,” he added.

here is my colleague Adam forrest with more details:

Rory sullivan23 Aug 2021 08:59

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‘Plenty of time to analyze’ the crisis in Afghanistan, says Vice President Harris

Kamala Harris said on Monday that the United States was focusing on the ongoing evacuation efforts in Afghanistan and that it would have ample time to analyze the background to the troop withdrawal.

The US Vice President spoke from Singapore, where she is on an official visit, during a meeting with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Halimah Yacob. The trip aims to strengthen ties with partners in the Indo-Pacific region as part of Washington’s efforts to counter China’s growing economic and security influence.

“There is going to be a lot of time to analyze what happened and what happened in the context of the withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Harris said at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Singapore .

“But for now, we are particularly focused on evacuating American citizens, Afghans who have worked with us and Afghans who are vulnerable, including women and children, and that is our singular focus at this time. . “

Lee, for his part, spoke about Afghanistan’s vulnerable future.

“We hope that Afghanistan does not become an epicenter of terrorism again,” he told reporters, adding that Singapore had offered transport planes to help with evacuations.

Sam hancock23 Aug 2021 08:46

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“The Taliban should be banned as a terrorist organization” – Minister of the Armed Forces

Times Radio breakfast host Luke Jones reports the following about Armed Forces Minister James Heappey:

Sam hancock23 Aug 2021 08:32

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Inside Politics: PM to advocate with Biden for more time in Afghanistan

Our daily political newsletter focuses on Afghanistan today, including a return from former US President Donald Trump.

“Trump is back and rewriting history – raging against ‘total surrender’ in Afghanistan,” writes Adam forrest.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson has reportedly told his assistants “half-jokingly” that it would have been better if Trump had won (a claim denied by No.10). Whatever he thinks of Joe Biden, however, the prime minister is ready to implore the president to postpone the evacuation beyond the end of the month.

Sign up for the newsletter – and read today’s newsletter – here:

Sam hancock23 Aug 2021 08:28

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UK has ‘responsibility’ to host Afghan refugees, says Labor

The shadow Home Secretary said the UK must be “an example on the world stage” when it comes to welcoming refugees from Afghanistan.

Talk to BBC R4 Today program, Nick Thomas-Symonds said, “We have a special responsibility to the Afghan people. I think of course we have to get the British nationals out, those who have helped us.

“But also those women and girls in public life, whose position in public life was guaranteed, if you will, by a guarantee from the West.”

He continued, “Then by working internationally with partners, for the civilians in Afghanistan who will flee the Taliban, will want to escape. We need to lead by example on the world stage and lead by example with our own ambitious resettlement program. “

Sam hancock23 Aug 2021 08:23

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Register for our free virtual event “Afghanistan: An Abandoned Nation?”

The independent has provided decades of award-winning journalistic coverage from the field in Afghanistan. And now we’re hosting a webinar titled “Afghanistan: An Abandoned Nation? to discuss the future of Afghanistan and the lessons to be learned from the past.

Our panel will be moderated by Foreign Editor David Harding and will consist of Foreign Correspondent and Commentator Patrick Cockburn, Camelia Entekhbifard, Editor-in-Chief of Independent Persian, and Lieutenant-General Sir Simon Mayell, a commander who was the Middle East adviser to the Department of Defense and Kim Sengupta, our editor-in-chief for defense and diplomacy.

The event will be held on Zoom from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on September 1.

Sam hancock23 Aug 2021 08:20

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