Taliban enters Kabul: Panicked UK envoy seeks airlift rescue fearing airport capture

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Taliban fighters have reached the outskirts of Kabul (Image: EXPRESS )

Speaking to Sky News three Afghan officials said the militant group has advanced to the edge of the city.

The Sunday Telegraph reports the British Ambassador to Afghanistan will be flown out of Kabul by Sunday evening.

It follows a blitzkrieg advance across Afghanistan, which saw 20 provincial capitals fall to the Taliban in less than two weeks.

Both the US and UK have sent troops to Kabul to help evacuate their nationals.

Rory Stewart, formerly the UK’s International Development Secretary, tweeted: “Taliban are in district 5 and district 12 in Kabul – very close to the center of the city now and advancing.”

Ragıp Soylu, a journalist from the Middle East Eye, wrote: “Taliban and Afghan forces are clashing in the outskirts of Kabul, they aren’t in the heart of the city yet according to several reports.

“Green Zone is closed and Afghan presidency reiterates that the security in the city is jointly provided by international partners aka Americans.”

There are reports of smoke coming out of the US Embassy in Kabul, as staff burn key documents before their evacuation.

According to The Telegraph most UK diplomats and officials have been evacuated, with the number falling from 500 to the “low tens”.

Sir Laurie Bristow, the British ambassador, is one of those waiting behind until later today.  

There are fears in Whitehall the Taliban could soon overrun Kabul’s international airport.

On Sunday morning the Taliban captured Jalalabad, the last major city other than Kabul under Government control, without a fight.

An Afghan official said they allowed the Taliban in as “the only way to save civilian lives”.

With the fall of Jalalabad, the Taliban now surround Kabul on all four sides.

More to follow…

William Murphy

William Murphy

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