US commander meets Taliban to seek safe withdrawal of troops from Kabul


The head of US Central Command Gen. Frank McKenzie held a face-to-face meeting with senior Taliban leaders, seeking non-interference in its military’s evacuation operations at the Kabul airport, which has turned into a chaotic place after Taliban took control of Afghanistan.

The development was confirmed by a US defence official to international media. The meeting was held in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday where Taliban reportedly agreed to not hinder the evacuation process.

The official further said McKenzie urged the Taliban not to interfere with the evacuation and said the US military would respond forcefully to defend the airport if necessary.

On April 14, President Joe Biden Biden announced a full withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, ending the 20-year-long war which was launched after the 9/11 attacks.

Under the deal made last year between the Trump administration and the Taliban, the foreign forces were bound to leave Afghanistan by May 1 but Biden extended it, enraging the militant group.

A huge number of civilians rushed to the Hamid Karzai Airport in Kabul to board flights after Taliban announced their victory. Scenes of chaos were observed at airports, with some people running after a US military plane on runway.

At least three people were killed after they fell from landing gear hatch to which they had clang on to leave the country.

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