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26th Aug 2021

People warned to avoid Kabul Airport amid “very high threat” of terror attack

Clara Kelly

“If you can leave Afghanistan safely by other means, you should do so immediately.”

People in Afghanistan have been warned to avoid Kabul Airport amid a “very high threat” of a terror attack in the region.

Western nations have warned their citizens to immediately leave the area as thousands of people have continued to flock to the airport over recent weeks seeking a way out of the country, with 90,000 being evacuated so far.

US President Joe Biden is set to end the evacuations next Tuesday and withdraw US troops, meaning many people have been rushing to find a way out as the Taliban have said they will not extend the deadline.

The US government and other states have now called for citizens and Afghans to avoid the airport, calling on people to leave “by other means” if at all possible.

“Those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately,” the US State Department said on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Australia’s department of foreign affairs said that there was an “ongoing and very high threat of terrorist attack”.

“Do not travel to Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport. If you’re in the area of the airport, move to a safe location and await further advice.”

Britain also asked its citizens to avoid the airport, saying: “If you can leave Afghanistan safely by other means, you should do so immediately.”

It comes as thousands of Afghans and foreign nationals surged on to the tarmac at Kabul airport last Monday seeking a place on a flight out of the country.

Commercial flights have mostly been suspended, stranding Afghans and other foreign nationals in the country as evacuations continue.

The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan was over on Monday and has taken control of the presidential palace, with the elected president having fled the country.

Afghans now suddenly face the prospect of complete domination by the Taliban again, after the group – in just a matter of days – took the rest of the country in its grip.

The Islamist group was able to seize control after most foreign troops pulled out.

With fears the Taliban could reimpose the brutal regime they enforced prior to the war in 2001, Afghans and foreigners alike have been searching for a way out of the country.

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