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US allies abandon thousands as Karzai faces ‘house arrest’

Over 10,000 people are still at Kabul airport

SAMAA | - Posted: Aug 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Aug 26, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 months ago

US Marines assigned to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit calm infants during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on August 20, 2021. (Photo: AFP)

The US allies are halting evacuations leaving thousands, including citizens and Afghan nationals, stranded in Afghanistan, the Wall Street Journal has reported as it reveals that the Taliban no longer showed warmth to Afghan leaders in the country and had effectively put former President Hamid Karzai under ‘house arrest.

The Taliban has refused to extend the August 31 deadline for the US and Nato forces to withdraw. The end of US presence in Kabul means no European country will be able to operate evacuation flights from the city, according to UK officials.

As the airlift opportunities are disappearing, Western citizens and Afghan nationals trying to leave the country have found roads to the Kabul airport closed, the WSJ said on Thursday.

“Thousands of Western citizens and permanent residents are still stranded in Afghanistan, and many fear that they will now be abandoned to face possible Taliban retribution,” the newspaper said. It quoted Afghan nationals and green card holders who said that “everything is over” and that they feared “we are going to be left behind.”

The Taliban initially allowed the US and its allies to evacuate their citizens and Afghan nationals for 10 days after they took over Kabul; however, on Tuesday the Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told them not to evacuate Afghan intellectuals and the educated elite.

The warmth extended to foreigners and Afghan leaders in Kabul is rapidly disappearing.

Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai and chief peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah had been visiting the Taliban every day since they capture Kabul on August 15. However, the Taliban are not ready to discuss power-sharing with them and Karzai has been “strongly advised not to leave his compound for his own safety, a soft form of house arrest,” the WSJ reported quoting a person familiar with Karzai’s meeting with the Taliban.

How many foreigners

The US has evacuated as many as 82,300 people from Afghanistan so far,according to a CBS report.  

However, more than 10,000 people are still at the Kabul airport, Guardian newspaper reported. There are still 1,500 US nationals in Afhganistan, it said.

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Kabul evacuation, US halts evacuation, US stops evacuation, Wall Street Journal, Karzai house arrest, Afghans abonddoned
 

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