A massive evacuation effort from Kabul airport has been underway since Taliban* seized the Afghan capital on 15 August on the heels of a weeks-long offensive launched after the US started withdrawing forces from the country. Thusday’s deadly blasts around Kabul airport followed warnings that such a threat was imminent.
Boris Johnson has said that UK forces in Afghanistan will follow through with the final stages of the massive airlift from Kabul despite the “despicable” attack outside the city’s airport. The Daesh-Khorasan* terrorist group reportedly claimed responsibility for the blasts that reportedly killed at least 103 people – 90 Afghan civilians and 13 US servicemen – amid the evacuation of the Western military contingent.
To date, over 13,146 people have been airlifted by the UK military since the mission began on 13 August judging by government figures released on Thursday. Evacuations got underway after the onslaught by Taliban* militant group against Afghan government forces ended with their capture of the capital, Kabul.
Among those evacuated from Kabul by UK forces were embassy personnel and British nationals; current and former locally employed staff in Afghanistan eligible under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Policy (Arap) programme and some nationals from ally states. The UK Foreign Office, Home Office and Border Force teams were “going to work flat out” to evacuate people “as fast as they can”, said Johnson.