There have been no 'hostile interactions' with Taliban: US Defence Secretary

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US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin

Washington [US], August 19 (ANI): US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that US service members have not had any "hostile interactions" with the Taliban as the terror group takes control of Afghanistan and America is frantically evacuating its personnel.

"There have been no hostile interactions with the Taliban. And our lines of communication with Taliban commanders remain open as they should be," Austin said during a news briefing on Wednesday.

On Sunday, the Taliban declared victory after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad and his government collapsed.

Like many other countries, the US started evacuating its nationals and some Afghans with links to foreign governments and organisations.

The US government has said that thousands of American citizens, locals embassy staff and their families, as well as other "vulnerable Afghan nationals" will be airlifted in the coming days.

Earlier in the day, Pentagon said that senior US military officers at the Kabul airport are talking to Taliban commanders in the capital about Taliban checkpoints and curfews that have limited the number of Americans and Afghans to enter the airport.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said there are now about 4,500 US troops at the airport, with several hundred more expected to arrive by Thursday. (ANI)

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