At least seven people, including three Afghan nationals who clung to a US Air Force plane to escape Taliban rule, died on Monday in a melee at the Kabul airport, as hundreds of people scrambled to board flights in a desperate bid to get out of Afghanistan, following the toppling of the government led by President Ashraf Ghani. Taliban insurgents swept Kabul on Sunday after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed and President Ghani fled the country, bringing an unprecedented end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform the war-ravaged nation.
Taking note of the developments, India said that as a neighbor of Afghanistan, the current situation in the war-torn country is of “great concern” to it and hoped that there is an inclusive dispensation which represents all sections of the society, underling that a “broader representation" would help the arrangement gain more acceptability and legitimacy.
The UN Security Council, currently being presided over by India for the month of August, held a meeting for the second time in a period of 10 days to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the international community to unite and use “all available instruments” to ensure Afghanistan is never again used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist organisations, telling the UN Security Council that “we cannot and must not” abandon the people of the war-torn country. READ MORE
Afghanistan Crisis: Latest Developments
11:23 PM: MEA has set up a Special Afghanistan Cell to coordinate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan.
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10:21 PM: China at UNSC
For last 20 years, terrorist organizations such as Islamic States & Al-Qaeda have gathered & developed in Afghanistan, posting a serious threat to international and regional peace and security. Afghanistan must never again become a haven for terrorists. This is the bottom line that must be held firmly for any future political solution in Afghanistan. We hope that Talibani Afghanistan is going to live it's commitment and make a clean break from terrorist organizations: Geng Shuang, Dy Permanent Representative of China to UN
9:51 PM: Armed contingent of ITBP actively securing diplomatic staff of Indian embassy in Afghanistan capital Kabul will be there till it is required: Officials
9:45 PM: All military and civilian flights halted at Kabul airport, reports AFP news agency quoting Pentagon
9:44 PM: One C-17 of the Indian Air Force (IAF) evacuation flight returned to India from Kabul, #Afghanistan this afternoon with personnel and equipment. More evacuation sorties planned: ANI Sources
9:41 PM: India at UNSC meeting
As a neighbour of #Afghanistan, as a friend of its people, the current situation prevailing in the country is of great concern to us in India. Afghan men, women, & children are living under a constant state of fear. Before current crisis unfolded, India had ongoing development projects in every one of 34 provinces of Afghanistan. We call upon parties concerned to maintain law & order, ensure safety & security of all concerned including UN diplomatic & consular personnel: India's Ambassador to UN, TS Tirumurti
9:30 PM: Pentagon says US is sending another battalion to secure Kabul airport; American troops killed two armed individuals. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said U.S. forces killed two people he described as carrying weapons in the melee. He said 1,000 more U.S. troops would be deployed to secure the airfield and back up the 2,500 already there.
08:52 PM: If there is zero-tolerance for terrorism in all its forms & manifestations & it's ensured that Afghan territory isn't used by terrorist groups to threaten or attack any other country, then Afghanistan's neighbours & region would feel safer: India's Ambassador to UN, TS Tirumurti
08:40 PM: US President Joe Biden will address the nation on Afghanistan tonight
8:24 PM: US soldiers kill two armed men at Kabul airport: Pentagon
08:20 PM: AP sources say seven people died at the Kabul airport amid evacuation chaos.
07:58 PM: US official says US military commander met face-to-face with Taliban to seek non-interference with Kabul airport evacuation.
07:48 PM: Representative of Afghan at emergency UNSC meet
"Today, I'm speaking on behalf of millions of people in Afghanistan. I'm speaking of millions of Afghan girls and women who're about to lose their freedom to go to school & to participate in political-economic & social life."
7:45 PM: UN Secretary-General António Guterres at emergency UNSC meeting on Afghanistan
I urge all parties especially the Taliban to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives and to ensure that humanitarian needs can be met. The conflict has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes. The capital city (Kabul) has seen a huge influx of internally displaced persons from provinces across the country (#Afghanistan) where they felt insecure & fled during the fighting. I remind all parties of their obligations to protect civilians. I call on all parties to provide humanitarians with unimpeded access to timely & life-saving services & aid. I also urge all countries to be willing to accept refugees & refrain from any deportations. We (int'lcommunity) must speak in one voice to uphold human rights in #Afghanistan. I call upon Taliban & all parties to respect & protect international humanitarian law & rights & freedom of all persons. We are receiving chilling reports of restrictions on human rights throughout the country. I'm particularly concerned by account of mounting human rights violations against women & girls of Afghanistan who fear a return of the darkest days. The international community must unite to ensure that #Afghanistan is never again used as a platform or safe haven for terrorist organizations: UN Secretary-General António Guterres at an emergency UNSC meeting on Afghanistan. I urge the UNSC & international community to stand together, act together & work together use use all tools at their disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan & to guarantee that basic human rights will be respected. Afghans are proud people. They have known generations of war and hardship. They deserve our full support. The following days will be pivotal. The world is watching. We can not and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan.
6:57 PM: The security situation in Kabul, Afghanistan has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. We've been issuing periodic advisories for the safety and security of Indian nationals, including calling for their immediate return to India: MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.
"We had circulated emergency contact numbers and had also been extending assistance to community members. We're aware that there are still some Indian nationals in Afghanistan who wish to return and we're in touch with them," he added.
5:49 PM: An Afghan military jet has crashed in Afghanistan. Pilot safely ejected: AFP
4:50 PM: Situation in Afghanistan legacy of US President Biden's foreign policy: Omar Abdullah
National Conference (NC) vice president Omar Abdullah on Monday said the situation in Afghanistan is the legacy of US President Joe Biden's foreign policy. He also said Biden cannot blame his predecessor Donald Trump or anyone else for the "vacuum" created in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US troops from the war-ravaged country.
4:00 PM: Afghans have broken 'shackles of slavery': Pak PM Imran Khan
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan seemed to endorse the Taliban taking over Kabul by saying that Afghanistan has broken the "shackles of slavery" in the neighbouring war-torn country.
3:35 PM: Taliban co-founder Abdul Ghani Baradar is the face of insurgent victory
Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban leader freed from a Pakistani jail on the request of the US less than three years ago, has emerged as an undisputed victor of the 20-year war in Afghanistan. While Haibatullah Akhundzada is the Taliban's overall leader, Baradar is its political chief and its most public face. In a televised statement on the fall of Kabul on Sunday, he said the Taliban's real test was only just beginning and that they had to serve the nation. The story of his adult life is the story of the country's unceasing, pitiless conflict. READ MORE
3:15 PM: Commercial flights from Kabul airport canceled
All commercial flights from the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Kabul have been cancelled in the wake of Taliban takeover triggering widespread chaos, said a statement of Afghanistan's civil aviation authority released on Monday. "All the flights from Kabul airport have been temporarily cancelled and the passengers should not come to the airport until informed," the statement said. The cancellation of the flights took place in the wake of Kabul's fall to the Taliban on Sunday and the mass migration of Afghans amid fear, reports Xinhua news agency.
3 PM: Shocking video shows 2 people falling off plane mid-air in Kabul
With the Taliban establishing its rule over Afghanistan after completing the capture of capital Kabul, shocking visuals from the country are pouring in showing panic-stricken people desperate to flee the country. CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO
2:50 PM: UN concerned over loss of lives
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged Taliban and all other parties "to exercise utmost restraint in order to protect lives and ensure that humanitarian needs can be addressed," the UN said in a statement. He was "particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected," the statement added.
2:35 PM: China says ready for 'friendly relations' with Taliban: AFP
China on Monday said it is willing to develop "friendly relations" with the Taliban after the terror group seized control of Afghanistan, news agency AFP reported. "China respects the right of the Afghan people to independently determine their own destiny and is willing to continue to develop... friendly and cooperative relations with Afghanistan," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters, according to AFP.
2:25 PM: International community must remain engaged with Kabul: Pakistan
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Monday said the international community must remain engaged with Afghanistan, asserting that Islamabad will continue to play a facilitative role to bring political settlement in the war-torn neighbouring country, which has been taken over by the Taliban in a sudden and unprecedented collapse of the government.
This is not the first time Afghanistan is terrorized by the Taliban. Several pieces of literature are proof that Afghans continue to tell the story of the aftermath caused by the Taliban back in 1996, when they captured the Afghan capital, Kabul, overthrowing the regime of President Burhanuddin Rabbani. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE
2 PM: Twitter account hacked, says official after Afghan embassy tweets slamming Ghani
An official of the Afghan embassy on Monday suggested that its Twitter handle was hacked after several tweets criticising embattled Afghan President Ashraf Ghani for fleeing the country were posted from it. Abdulhaq Azad, the press secretary of the Afghan embassy in India, tweeted that he has lost control of the mission's official Twitter handle, along with a screen shot of one of the messages slamming Ghani for leaving Afghanistan. "I have lost access to Twitter handle of @AfghanistanInIN, a friend sent screen shot of this tweet, (this tweet is hidden from me.) I have tried to log in but can't access. Seems it is hacked," Azad tweeted from his own Twitter handle.
1:50 PM: US Embassy evacuated, America's flag lowered
The U.S. Embassy has been evacuated and the American flag lowered, with diplomats relocating to the airport to aid with the evacuation. Other Western countries have also closed their missions and are flying out staff and civilians.
1:45 PM: Taliban seek to project calm as US speeds chaotic evacuation
The US military took over Afghanistan's airspace on Monday as it struggled to manage a chaotic evacuation after the Taliban rolled into the capital, as the militants tried to project calm amid widespread fears of unrest. The Taliban swept into the capital on Sunday after the Western-backed government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing a stunning end to a two-decade campaign in which the U.S. and its allies had tried to transform the country. Thousands of Afghans, fearing a return to the Taliban's brutal rule, are trying to flee the country through Hamid Karzai International Airport. Videos circulating on social media showed hundreds of people racing across the tarmac as U.S. soldiers fired warning shots in the air.
1:35 PM: US to expand its security presence at Kabul airport to 6,000 troops
The US has said it would deploy 6,000 troops at the vital Kabul airport to ensure the safe departure of American citizens and its allies from Afghanistan which has been taken over by the Taliban, in a sudden and unprecedented collapse of the elected regime led by embattled President Ashraf Ghani.
1:30 PM: Air India cancels its only Kabul flight
Air India cancelled its Delhi-Kabul-Delhi flight that was scheduled to operate on Monday to avoid Afghanistan airspace after it was declared "uncontrolled" by authorities at the Kabul airport. It was the only commercial flight scheduled to operate between India and Afghanistan on Monday, and Air India is the only carrier that has been operating flights between the two countries.
1:30 PM: Italy evacuates staff, Afghan workers from Kabul
Italy has evacuated 70 embassy staff and Afghan employees from the capital city of Kabul. The plane was scheduled to arrive in Rome on Monday. Video taken at Kabul's international airport and released by the Italian Defence Ministry shows people walking up a mobile staircase to board the plane in darkness. The evacuation is part of Italy's Operation Aquila Omnia (Eagle Ready for Anything) to quickly evacuate Italian diplomatic staff, citizens and Afghan employees and family members. Italy had one of the largest contingents in Afghanistan before the pullout.
The Taliban insurgents swept into Afghanistan's capital on Sunday after the government collapsed and president Ghani joined fellow citizens and foreigners to leave the country.
US President Joe Biden had in April announced that all American troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year, thus bringing to end the country's longest war, spanning across two decades. Since the US-led invasion that ousted the Taliban after the September 11, 2001 attacks, America has spent more than USD 1 trillion in fighting and rebuilding in Afghanistan. About 2,400 US soldiers have been killed, along with tens of thousands of Afghan troops, Taliban insurgents and Afghan civilians.