22 Aug 2021: Afghanistan: UK Defence Ministry claims 7 died near Kabul airport
The United Kingdom's Defence Ministry Sunday said seven people died near the Kabul airport amid the chaos following the Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan. "Our sincere thoughts are with the families of the seven Afghan civilians who...died in crowds," the ministry said, without giving details. Earlier on Thursday, US and NATO officials said that 12 people had been killed at the airport since last Sunday.
Details: UK pushes US to extend August 31 deadline
British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace pledged the UK's "complete support" if the US decides to extend the August 31 deadline to complete the evacuation. Britain's Foreign Secretary is looking to speak to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to discuss an extension. "If the US timetable remains, we have no time to lose to get the majority of the people waiting out," Wallace said.
Fact: This week, Biden said deadline may be extended
Notably, US President Joe Biden had said Friday that the US may extend the August 31 deadline for airlifts. "I think we can get it done by then, but we're going to make that judgment as we go," Biden had said.
Evacuation: UK has evacuated 4,000 people since August 13
Meanwhile, the UK has evacuated nearly 4,000 people from Afghanistan since August 13, the Defence Ministry spokesperson said. However, the spokesperson said the on-ground situation remains "extremely challenging, but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible." Due to "too many people" on Saturday, the US had to suspend access to its operation, Wallace further said.
Chaos: Chaos continues at Kabul airport as Afghans desperately try fleeing
Desperate attempts to flee the Taliban's hostile takeover of Afghanistan have created a humanitarian crisis at the Kabul airport since last Sunday. On Saturday, Sky News aired footage of at least three dead bodies covered in white tarpaulins outside the airport. Reports also said how Afghan women were throwing their babies over barbed wires, asking foreign soldiers to take them.
Fact: Video showed people falling from plane while trying to flee
Visuals from the Kabul airport also showed desperate civilians clinging to planes as they took off. Another video showed two people falling to their deaths from a plane mid-air. The visuals highlight the desperation among Afghans to flee the Taliban's rule.
Recent news: US issues fresh advisory; fears Islamic State threat
Meanwhile, the United States Embassy in Kabul has issued a warning to American citizens in Afghanistan to avoid travel to Kabul airport without approval from the American authority. The US is concerned about a potential Islamic State threat against Americans in Afghanistan. This has also forced the US to find new ways to get evacuees to the airport in Kabul.
Other developments: Taliban negotiating with Afghan politicians to form government
Separately, the Taliban is continuing discussions with Afghan politicians to form an "inclusive government" in the country that is acceptable to all. The framework for the creation of the new government is expected to be announced in the next few weeks, Reuters reported citing Taliban sources. Notably, former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah Saturday met with senior leaders of the Taliban.
The news article, Afghanistan: UK Defence Ministry claims 7 died near Kabul airport appeared first on NewsBytes.
Also see: US President Biden briefed on potential IS threat in Afghanistan
Afghanistan: Week after Kabul fell, anti-Taliban forces retake 3 districts
Top Taliban leaders may be exempted from UN sanctions list
Read more on World by NewsBytes.