Taliban latest: UK's last evacuation flight leaves but 150 Britons left behind

British military chiefs are now plotting to eliminate the ISIS-K leaders responsible for the Kabul suicide bomb attack. The attack claimed the lives of two British nationals and the child of another Briton alongside at least 170 other people. Government ministers said they were prepared to “take action” to deal with the terror threat from ISIS.

UK foreign secretary Dominic Raab said: “These were innocent people and it is a tragedy that as they sought to bring their loved ones to safety in the UK they were murdered by cowardly terrorists.

“Yesterday’s despicable attack underlines the dangers facing those in Afghanistan and reinforces why we are doing all we can to get people out. We are offering consular support to their families.

“We will not turn our backs on those who look to us in their hour of need and we will never be cowed by terrorists.”

A British General has also stated that Isis-K is a risk to the United Kingdom, were a terror attack could be launched on British soil.

The news comes as Britain’s evacuation of civilians from Afghanistan is to come to an abrupt end today, armed forces chiefs have announced.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, British General Sir Nick Carter said the final stages of the evacuation were “going according to plan”.

He said: “We’re reaching the end of the evacuation, which will take place during the course of today, and then of course it’ll be necessary to bring our troops out on the remaining aircraft.

It’s gone as well as it could do in the circumstances.

“We haven’t been able to bring everyone out, and that has been heart-breaking. And there have been some very challenging judgements that have had to be made on the ground.

“And I think that, you know, people like me, who have had a very, very long association with this country, we are forever receiving messages and texts from our Afghan friends that are very distressing, so we’re all living this in the most painful way.”

Now Britain is facing its “biggest hostage crisis ever” after approximately 1,000 Afghans who were eligible to be evacuated to the UK will instead be left behind in the country.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said up to 1,100 Afghans who’d helped British forces, and so qualified for evacuation, “didn’t make it through”. The UK’s final evacuation flight from Kabul Airport is due to leave within hours as the August 31 deadline approaches. The processing centre inairport for filing those who had the to leave closed at 4.30am UK time on Friday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson then claimed that the “lion’s share” of people had got out.

People who helped British forces in Afghanistan were eligible for relocation to the UK under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (ARAP).

However, it has been estimated that many thousands will be left behind and could suffer at the hands of ISIS and the Taliban.

Speaking to Sky News MP Tom Tugendhat, who served in Afghanistan, said the UK was facing “the biggest hostage crisis it has ever seen”.

He said: “Over 3,000 entitled people were said to be in Afghanistan at the beginning of the process.

“I don’t know how many now, but we’ll be asking about that.

“And we’ll be looking to see what that means for getting British citizens out, what that means for getting entitled people out and protecting those people who are, quite rightly, literally in fear of their lives now.”

Mr Tugendhat added: “This is what defeat looks like.”

READ MORE: Meghan Markle’s UK charity issues devastating Afghanistan statement

1.40pm update: The last dedicated evacuation flight to the UK from Afghanistan left Kabul overnight

The remaining flights that will continue over the weekend are set to bring home the remaining British troops.

However, there will still be a small number of Afghan evacuees on these troop flights.

The UK’s ambassador Laurie Bristow announced on Twitter: “Nearly 15,000 British nationals, Afghan staff and others at risk have been evacuated from Kabul since Operation Pitting began our commitment to the people of Afghanistan will endure.”

The UK’s chief of defence staff General Sir Nick Carter spoke about “the ever-diminishing rearguard that protects your back as you’re evacuating yourselves, and of course there comes a point when it really is the last aeroplane out”.

About this perilous situation, he added: “There are all sorts of things that can go wrong” when the final planes leave, such as the “threat of terrorism”.

The UK’s chief of defence staff had earlier announced that Britain would conclude its civilian evacuation operation from Afghanistan today.

However, thousands of people who are eligible for emergency evacuation to the UK from Afghanistan have been left behind.

Speaking about the fate of those Afghans left behind the UK’s Defence Secretary Ben Wallace spoke to Sky News earlier today and said: “We, at 4.30 this morning, UK-time, closed the Baron Hotel, shut the processing centre and the gates were closed at Abbey Gate.

“We will process the people that we’ve brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately in the airfield now and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours.

“The sad fact is not every single one will get out.

“The threat is obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving.”

1.30pm update: UK army chiefs are planning to take out ISIS-K leaders who were responsible for the Kabul airport suicide bombing

The news comes after Boris Johnson has expressed his “great regret” at leaving Afghans behind.

The UK Government said it would “take action” to deal with the terror threat from ISIS death-squads.

This comes after the death toll continues to rise following the ISIS-K suicide bomb blast on Thursday.

The blast saw the single biggest loss of American troops in Afghanistan for a decade.

1.15pm update: A terror attack by ISIS on British soil is now feared after the group’s latest suicide bombing in Kabul

British General Sir Richard Barrons said ISIS could now be planning a terror attack on British soil.

Speaking to the Daily Mail he said: “What the suicide bombing does do is illustrate that Isis-K is a risk to the United Kingdom, here at home, and to our interests abroad.

“We’re going to find common cause with the US, and indeed I think the Taliban, in bearing down on this terrible organisation for as long as it takes to neuter them.”

12.20pm update:

The poll asks the question after terror is back on the world stage as a major international threat following the Taliban’s seizing of power in Afghanistan.

Express.co.uk wants to know whether you think Britain should recognise the Taliban as the country’s legitimate leaders?

On Thursday, ISIS-K suicide bombers killed at least 170 people at Kabul airport, including 72 Afghan civilians, three British citizens including one child, 12 US Marines and a Navy medic.

The terrorist organisation said the attack was targeted at “translators and collaborators with the American army”.

Click for the link to the poll.

The fathers of the marines killed in the ISIS-K attack in Kabul have blamed US President Joe Biden for “turning his back on their sons”.

The fathers of the deceased marines responded after the ISIS-K suicide bomb on Thursday in Kabul that claimed the lives of 13 US troops and 170 others.

Now the Pentagon has warned that another attack is likely.

The fathers of two of the US marines killed in the bomb attack on  airport have blamed the US President for their deaths.

10.30am update:

The ISIS-K terrorist group wants to topple the Taliban leadership in Afghanistan, according to a former Pentagon official, amid a growing informal alliance between the Taliban and US forces in Kabul.

A former Pentagon official has warned that ISIS-K is plotting to topple the Taliban and take over Afghanistan.

Speaking to RT, Michael Maloof said that ISIS-K were sending a message to the Taliban after claiming responsibility for a bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport.

The death toll from yesterday’s Kabul airport attack increased to 170 – with US marines among the victims.

9.00am update: US military forces launched an airstrike in Nangahar Province of Afghanistan against ISIS-K

The US has said they have “killed the target” who had claimed responsibility of the Kabul airport blasts that killed over 100 Afghans.

Captain Bill Urban of the Central Command in Afghanistan said: “The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangahar Province of Afghanistan.

“Initial indications are that we killed the target.

“We know of no civilian casualties.”

7.40am update: UK MPs with Afghan constituents have seen a huge amount of pleas from people who have family members trapped in Afghanistan

In a letter to the Foreign and Home Secretaries, Labour MP Lyn Brown said: “None have, to my knowledge, been helped to live by the government thus far.”

She added: “The degree of fear and concern my constituents are feeling is extreme.

“This group includes senior Afghan government and military officials and their relatives, judges and prosecutors, vulnerable women who don’t have male relatives with them and are therefore in danger just being on the streets.”

William Murphy

William Murphy

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