A number of countries have advised their people not to go to Kabul airport because of the high risk of a terrorist attack. Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom have all issued warnings to their people. Those who are already outside the airport are urged to evacuate right once.
Over 82,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul, which was captured by the Taliban ten days ago.
Countries are scrambling to evacuate people before the deadline of August 31.
Thousands of people are still awaiting flights out of the country, both inside and outside the airport.
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the Taliban have resisted extending the deadline but have agreed to let Westerners and Afghans leave the country beyond August 31.
On Thursday, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, said: “There is an ongoing and very high threat of a terrorist attack”
It comes only hours after the US State Department advised people to “leave immediately” if they were waiting at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate.
The UK issued similar advice asking people there to “move away to a safe location and await further advice”.
The Foreign Office said that the security situation in Afghanistan “remains volatile” adding that there was “an ongoing and high threat of a terrorist attack”.
No additional information about the security threat was provided by any of the countries.
Evacuees wait to board a Boeing C-17 Globemaster
Because of the growing danger posed by the Islamic State group in Afghanistan, US President Joe Biden warned in a speech on Tuesday that the US-controlled airlift will have to stop shortly.
Mr. Blinken said on Wednesday that around 19,000 people had been evacuated on US-organized aircraft in the last 24 hours, with airlifts ramped up in recent days amid scenes of chaos.
He said that the United States was still on schedule to finish operations at Kabul Airport by the end of the month.
“Only the United States could organize and execute a mission of this scale and this complexity,” he told reporters in Washington.
“The Taliban have made public and private commitments to provide and permit safe passage for Americans, for third-country nationals and Afghans at risk past August 31st,” he said.
He added that the US would help those who wanted to leave Afghanistan “not just during the duration of our evacuation and relocation mission, but every day thereafter”.
According to the secretary of state, up to 1,500 US citizens may still remain in the country, and the government is working hard to find them.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the CIA and the US military have been conducting clandestine operations to remove Americans using helicopters and ground soldiers.
The perilous operations have been both inside and outside of Kabul, the paper says.
According to the Pentagon, 10,000 people are still waiting for US planes to rescue them from Kabul airport. Thousands more Afghans are on the verge of fleeing but are unable to reach the location.
President Joe Biden said on Twitter that the United States will “do everything” to ensure “safe evacuation.”
We're going to do everything that we can to provide safe evacuation for Americans, our Afghan allies, partners, and Afghans who might be targeted because of their association with the United States.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 25, 2021