Taliban at Kandahar gates, India pulls out nationals from consulate in city

With Taliban forces having advanced to within a few kilometres of Kandahar, India has evacuated Indian staff and personnel from its consulate in the southern Afghanistan city.

New Delhi is watching the situation in Mazar-e-Sharif in the north of the country, where it has a consulate.

“The security situation is grim in the north as well, so we are closely monitoring the situation there,” a source told The Indian Express. If the situation deteriorates, Mazar-e-Sharif could be the next place from where Indian officials and staffers will be evacuated.

As of Sunday, there were no Indian diplomats or other staffers at the Indian consulates in Kandahar, Herat, and Jalalabad — there were only about 15-20 Afghan staffers at each of these locations.

The Indian embassy in Kabul though, was still functioning with Indian diplomats and Afghan staffers.

About 50 Indian diplomats and staffers were evacuated from Kandahar on Saturday, sources said.

A special aircraft of the Indian Air Force was sent on Saturday to bring back the Indian diplomats, officials, and other staff members including a group of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel, the sources said.

The evacuation has been carried out in view of the “intense fighting near Kandahar city”, the government said.

India is closely monitoring the evolving security situation in Afghanistan. The safety and security of our personnel is paramount,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

The official…

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