Kabul: Afghans enter Pakistan through Chaman border
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Desperate Afghans are crossing the border into Pakistan through Spin Boldak to seek refuge from the Taliban. Many nationals were told to avoid Kabul Airport due to reports of violence as the August 31 evacuation deadline nears before two explosions rocked the Afghan capital. TRT journalist Syed Ali Shah said: “You can see behind me a large number of people including women and children.
“They are entering from Afghanistan into Pakistan.
“The security officials are saying here the number of Afghan nationals entering into Pakistan has increased.
“Since the Taliban has taken control, most of the Afghans have come to Pakistan.
“Security officers said today the number was around 4,000 a day.”
It comes as there were at least two explosions near Kabul’s airport amid a huge evacuation effort from Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Thursday, with civilians and U.S. service members among the casualties.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said one blast occurred near the airport’s Abbey Gate and the other close to the nearby Baron Hotel. Two U.S. officials said at least one of the explosions appeared to be from a suicide bombing.
“We can confirm that the explosion at the Abbey Gate was the result of a complex attack that resulted in a number of US & civilian casualties,” Kirby said on twitter.
“We can also confirm at least one other explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, a short distance from Abbey Gate.”
Injured people loaded into ambulance van near Kabul Airport
A Taliban official said at least 13 people were killed in the blast, including children, and many Taliban guards were wounded.
A US official told Reuters as many as three US service members were among those hurt, and that US casualty numbers were expected to increase, according to initial information.
At least one of the US personnel was seriously hurt, an official said.
The US Embassy in Kabul described “a large explosion” and said there had been reports of gunfire.
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The explosion came after the United States and its allies urged Afghans to leave the area because of a threat by Islamic State.
A massive airlift of foreign nationals and their families, as well as some Afghans, has been underway since the day before Taliban forces captured Kabul on August 15, capping a swift advance across the country as US and allied troops withdrew.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the explosion, according to a White House official. Biden was in a meeting with security officials about the situation in Afghanistan, where the United States is in the final steps of ending its 20-year war, when the explosion was first reported, according to a person familiar with the matter.
The United States has been racing to carry out the airlift before its military is set to fully withdraw from the country on August 31.
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