Taliban LIVE: UN issues dire migration warning as half a MILLION Afghans to flee regime

15:09 Top stories from World News:

14:05 Kabul airport terrorist attack death toll soars to

The death toll from the Kabul airport attack yesterday has soared to 170 people, according to Afghanistan based CBS journalist Ahmad Mukhtar.

This figure includes 32 men, 3 women and 3 children with the identity of 132 others still unidentifiable.

Nearly 200 others were wounded in the attack, said Mr Mukhtar. 

ISIS splinter group ISIS-K took responsibility for the atrocity which deliberately targetted those who had cooperated with the West. 

BREAKING: death toll from Kabul airport attack jumped to 170 people including 32 men, 3 woman & 3 children. Identity or 132 others still unidentifiable. Nearly 200 people also wounded.

u2014 Ahmad Mukhtar (@AhMukhtar) August 27, 2021

13:46 Afghans in the UK feel ‘desperate, hopeless and frightened’

Afghans in the UK have been queuing outside an Afghan charity centre since 5am today hoping to help their family members stuck in Afghanistan as the British evacuation mission enters its “final hours”.

Afghans in the UK queuing since 5am outside an Afghan charity centre hoping to help family members in Afghanistan. They tell me they feel desperate, hopeless and frightened. pic.twitter.com/mPROTIsfFI

u2014 Charlotte Lomas (@LomasChar) August 27, 2021

13:34 Half a million Afghans could flee across borders, UN predicts

Up to half a million Afghans could flee the humanitarian crisis in their homeland, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR. 

The agency is appealing to all neighbouring countries to keep their borders open for those desperately seeking safety.

Kelly Clements, deputy UN High Commissioner for Refugees said: “In terms of numbers we are preparing for around 500,000 new refugees in the region.

“This is a worst case scenario.

“While we have not seen large outflows of Afghans at this point, the situation inside Afghanistan has evolved more rapidly than anyone expected.”

13:28 Final Dutch evacuation plane lands in Netherlands

The final flight of evacuees from Afghanistan has arrived in the Netherlands carrying 87 Dutch citizens, the Defence Ministry said.

Dutch military planes have taken more than 2,500 people out of Afghanistan since August 18, three days after the Taliban declared victory. 

The Netherlands no longer has a diplomatic presence in the country.

The government said it is exploring ways to help hundreds of Dutch citizens of Afghan origin and Afghans eligible for asylum in the Netherlands who were unable to be evacuated.

Assistance will initially be provided from neighbouring countries, the government said in a letter to parliament.

A small number of Dutch troops and a C-130 aircraft will remain near Afghanistan until August 31, the government said.

12:49 ‘We have created a safe haven for terrorism’ says security expert

The US-led coalition’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan has “created a safe haven for terrorism”, according to international security expert Will Geddes. 

Mr Geddes lamented the desperate situation in the region and accused America of donating “$85billion worth of military equipment”. 

Speaking on GB News, he said: “This is just a horrific situation. 

“We have created a safe haven for terrorism.

“You have all [the supporters of radical terrorist groups] around the world that will be buoyed on by the fact that they have now got, if you like, their ‘home land’ back again. 

“Most of these groups have been very quiet, and that is not good news. 

“If they are quiet that means that they are grouping, it means they are getting their act together, they are planning their actions.”

GCHQ and their American counterparts, the NSA, will have their work cut out for them monitoring these groups, the security expert added. 

‘This is this is just a horrific situation. We’ve created a safe haven for terrorism.’

Security expert @willgeddes says not only has the West facilitated a safe haven for terrorism in Afghanistan ‘but the Americans have also donated $85 billion worth of military equipment.’ pic.twitter.com/mdoXWW4imQ

u2014 GB News (@GBNEWS) August 27, 2021

12:34 US withdrawal from Afghanistan is a ‘morale boost for radicals’

The United States’ chaotic retreat from Afghanistan after 20 years is “an enormous morale boost for Islamic radicals everywhere,” according to former US ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker.

The suicide bombings outside Kabul airport on Thursday, which were claimed by ISIS-K, serve as a reminder of the volitile radical climate in the region.

Mr Crocker told CNN: “The issue is not that the Taliban control the country right now, it’s that the Taliban really don’t control the country and nobody does.

“That is a breeding ground for these kinds of actions and for these kinds of people to come back and take root.

“And that is what brought us 9/11, we’ve now got the same dynamic.”

12:25 Taliban asks Turkey for help

The Taliban has asked Turkey to operate Kabul airport but no agreement has yet been reached.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a decision would be made once there is clarity on the Afghan administration.

Mr Erdogan said a meeting with the Taliban, lasting more than three hours, had taken place at the Turkish embassy in Kabul, but didn’t specify when.

He said: “If necessary, we will have the opportunity to hold such meetings again.”

The Turkish president added that the evacuation of their troops from Kabul, which began on Wednesday, was ongoing.

12:10 End of evacuation marks ‘sad and dark day’ says Keir Starmer

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the looming end of the evacuation from Kabul marks a “sad and dark day” and insists the Government has “serious questions to answer.

Sir Keir said: “After the despicable acts of violence we witnessed on Thursday, the end of the evacuation from Kabul Airport marks a sad and dark day for many people in Afghanistan.

“With the withdrawal we face the heart-breaking reality that people have been left behind, including many to whom we owe so much.

“The British Government must take its fair share of the responsibility and has serious questions to answer about how, despite having 18 months to prepare, their failure to plan and inability to influence others has contributed to this tragic political failure.

“We must urgently help the thousands who we have left behind, some of whom are eligible for relocation under the Arap scheme.

“There are MPs all over the UK who have constituents still pleading for their help.

“The Government must work quickly to deliver a strategy to get those people out and work with the UN and partners to quickly deliver essential aid directly to those in need.”

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End of evacuation marks ‘sad and dark day’ says Keir Starmer (Image: GETTY)

11:59 Sweden ENDS evacuation mission in Afghanistan

Sweden has ended its evacuation mission in Kabul, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde confirmed today.

A total of 1,100 vulnerable people had been evacuated, including all locally employed embassy staff and their families, Ms Linde said. 

The formal foreign troop withdrawal deadline stands at August 31, with the Taliban rejecting any possibility of an extension.

11:30 ISIS-K is ‘ex members of the Taliban who don’t think they are nasty enough’

ISIS-K is made up from “ex-members of the Taliban who don’t think they are nasty enough”, according to Chris Phillips, former Head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office. 

Speaking on GB News, Mr Phillips said: “[ISIS-K] is an offshoot, it is almost certainly ex-members of the Taliban who don’t think they’re nasty enough. 

“And don’t forget, this bomb that happened yesterday is not a one off. 

“There has been 25 other suicide bombers coming in and bombing Kabul in the last year or so – they are a horrendous group.

“What this is doing is it is showing how unstable Afghanistan is and how over the next year or so, the Taliban themselves will have very great difficulty keeping control.”

‘This is almost like who can be the nastiest gang… It shows how unstable Afghanistan is.’

Chris Phillips, former Head of the National Counter Terrorism Security Office, says Isis-K comprises of ‘almost certainly ex members of the Taliban who don’t think they are nasty enough.’ pic.twitter.com/yc9Wy0N5J1

u2014 GB News (@GBNEWS) August 27, 2021

11:17 1,000 Afghans could be left behind, according to defence secretary

Defence secretary Ben Wallace has admitted up to 1,000 eligible vulnerable Afghans could be left behind as the British evacuation effort enters its “final hours”. 

Mr Wallace warned that the threat from terror groups will only “grow the closer we get to leaving” following the devastating bombings carried out by ISIS-K yesterday.

Despite airlifting nearly 14,000 people out of Afghanistan in the past two weeks, Mr Wallace said “the sad fact is not every single one will get out”.

He added: “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.”

Mr Wallace said the RAF has rescued “double” the number of Afghan nationals who supported the British effort in Afghanistan compared to what had been predicted. 

The number of vulnerable people taken in by the British under the Afghan relocations and assistance policy (Arap) is expected to hit 10,000 today.

But hundreds will be left behind.

“We think there will be circa between 800 and 1,100 Arap that didn’t make it,” Mr Wallace told LBC radio.

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Hundreds of people desperate to escape the Taliban will not be saved, says defence secretary (Image: GETTY)

11:02 Leaving identifying documents in abandoned embassy ‘not good enough’ says defence secretary

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said the Prime Minister “will be asking some questions” about how sensitive information was left unsecure in the abandoned British embassy in Kabul.

“Clearly it’s not good enough,” Mr Wallace added.

Labour said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has “serious questions to answer” and that the destruction of sensitive materials should have been a “top priority”.

The Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee is set to launch an inquiry after a journalist from the Times found the sensitive documents containing the contact details of seven Afghans while on a tour through the city’s abandoned diplomatic quarter accompanied by a Taliban patrol on Tuesday.

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Not good enough, according to Ben Wallace (Image: GETTY)

10:46 Papers identifying local British embassy workers found abandoned in Kabul

Documents with the names and contact details of Afghans working for the Foreign Office were found scattered across the abandoned British embassy in Kabul. 

The alarming discovery was made by Times journalist Anthony Loyd as Taliban fighters patrolled the abandoned office. 

A pile of CVs from people seeking to work at the British embassy were also found days after the embassy workers fled August 15 when the Taliban rolled into Kabul. 

In their panic to escape the Taliban, it appears embassy staff ignored the evacuation protocols of shredding and destroying all data that could compromise local workers. 

The fate of at least two job applicants whose details were left on the ground at the embassy remains unknown.

10:30 US evacuation plan as withdrawal deadline looms

The United States and allies are hurrying to evacuate as many vulnerable people from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan as possible before the withdrawal deadline August 31.

The efforts come amid a growing terror threat from ISIS splinter group ISIS-K who attacked a crowd outside Kabul airport yesterday, killing 95 and injuring many more. 

The US-led coalition has successfully evacuated more than 100,000 people since August 14, the day before the Taliban entered Kabul, according to the White House. 

The US military will continue evacuating people from Kabul airport until the August 31 deadline but has said they will prioritise the removal of US troops and military equipment in the final days, the Pentagon has said.

Washington has so far evacuated 4,500 US citizens and their families, Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed on Wednesday.

There are still about 1,500 US citizens in Afghanistan. 

The US government is working to either contact them or has already given them instructions on how to get to Kabul airport, Mr Blinken said.

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There are still about 1,500 US citizens in Afghanistan (Image: GETTY)

10:15 World Health Organisation hopes to enter Afghanistan in DAYS

The World Health Organisation hopes to establish a secure air bridge to northern Afghanistan within the next two or three days to assist with dwindling medical supplies.

Rick Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency director, said: “Right now because of security concerns and several other operational considerations, Kabul airport is not going to be an option for the next week at least.”

Speaking a day after the devastating ISIS terror attack in the capital, Mr Brennan explained that insurance rates for flying into Afghanistan have “skyrocketed”.

“Once we can address that we can hopefully be airborne in the next 48-72 hours,” he added.

Trauma kits and emergency supplies for hospitals, as well as medicines for treating chronic malnutrition among children are among priority items, Mr Brennan told the Geneva briefing.

09:31 US on high alert for more ISIS attacks

The US is on high alert for more ISIS-K terror attacks after two explosions and gunfire erupted outside the airport yesterday. 

Footage taken by Afghan journalists showed dozens of bodies strewn around a canal on the edge of the airport in the aftermath of the incident. 

A health official and a Taliban official said the death toll, which is said to now stand and 95, included 28 Taliban members.

However, a different Taliban spokesman later denied that any of their fighters guarding the airport perimeter had been killed.

ISIS, an enemy of the Islamist Taliban as well as the West, said one of its suicide bombers targeted “translators and collaborators with the American army”.

Thousands of people are still waiting to be evacuated from Kabul airport as the withdrawal deadline August 31 draws ever closer.

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US on high alert for more ISIS attacks (Image: GETTY)

09:24 At least 95 dead in ISIS terror blast yesterday

The death toll from yesterday’s ISIS terrorism attack outside Kabul airport has risen to 95, according to AP, citing an official.

09:12 10 Downing Street thanking everyone involved in evacuation efforts

Boris Johnson has released a video thanking everyone involved in the evacuation process in Afghanistan. 

The tweet said: “We’ve evacuated more than 12,000 people from Afghanistan and our teams are working hard to make sure they continue to be supported as they rebuild their lives here in the UK.”

Weu2019ve evacuated more than 12,000 people from Afghanistan and our teams are working hard to make sure they continue to be supported as they rebuild their lives here in the UK. pic.twitter.com/Y1LqCtd2Hc

u2014 UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) August 27, 2021

08:48 ‘The enemy’s enemy is my friend’ says former British Army head on Taliban cooperation

Former head of the British Army, General Lord Richard Dannatt, said the US is playing a “dangerous game” by sharing intelligence with the Taliban.

The Americans have shared a list of people who they want to get to Kabul airport for evacuation with the Taliban, in an effort to rescue the remaining people outside the airfield before the withdrawal deadline August 31.

Lord Dannatt says this is a “dangerous game” but that it is a case of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”.

He added: “It is an extraordinary twist, we know the attack yesterday was carried out by ISIS-K, and we are cooperating with the Taliban in their fight against ISIS-K.

“For the last 20 years we have been combatting the Taliban but actually at this particular moment in time we need [the Taliban’s] support to continue our evacuation operation and to get our remaining people out.”

“My enemy’s enemy is my friend”

General Lord Richard Dannatt, former Chief of the General Staff, says the unlikely partnership between allied forces and the Taliban may seem like an “extraordinary twist” but “we need their support” to hold off ISIS K.https://t.co/u75m8JeaS1 pic.twitter.com/n2PoHVJOWm

u2014 Sky News (@SkyNews) August 27, 2021

08:39 US officials provided Taliban with names of allies to evacuate

US officials have been heavily criticised for giving the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies to grant entry into the militant-controlled outer perimeter of the city’s airport.

The surprising move was made in an attempt to speed up the evacuation process after the Taliban declared victory August 31.

Nearly 100,000 people have been successfully evacuated – most of whom had to pass through the Taliban’s many checkpoints.

However, the decision to provide specific names to the Taliban, which has a history of brutally murdering Afghans who collaborated with the US and other Western powers during the conflict, has angered lawmakers and military officials.

One defence official told POLITICO: “Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list, it’s just appalling and shocking and makes you feel unclean.”

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Taliban fighters man a checkpoint outside airport as they make Afghans with travel documents wait (Image: GETTY)

08:14 ISIS claim responsibility for attack and name suicide bomber

ISIS has claimed responsibility for the terror attacks carried out at Kabul airport yesterday which claimed the lives of 90 people, including 13 US military personnel.

The two explosions were carried out at the Abbey Gate and near the Baron Hotel as thousands gathered to escape Afghanistan despite terror warnings. 

ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack by posting a statement on the messaging app, Telegram.

Abdul Rehman Al-Loghri of ISIS-K was the suicide bomber responsible for the blast at Abbey Gate, according to ISIS. 

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ISIS-K are opposed to the Taliban who they view as too liberal (Image: NC)

07:50 UK evacuation efforts in ‘final hours’, confirms defence secretary

The UK has entered the “final hours” of its evactuation operation in Afghanistan and has said no more people will be called forward to leave. 

Defence secretary Ben Wallace said: “It is with deep regret that not everyone has been able to be evacuated during this process.”

The Ministry of Defence said processing facilities at the Baron Hotel outside the Kabul airport had been closed after an ISIS-K terrorism attack killed 90 people yesterday. 

Mr Wallace confirmed they would process the 1,000 people in the airfield and would try to find a few people in the crowds where possible but admitted the operation must come to an end.

Harry Byrne

Harry Byrne

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