March 25, 2023

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Afghanistan: US expedites withdrawal from Kabul on August 31 following Taliban warning | The world

U.S. forces stepped up their efforts Tuesday to evacuate thousands of people , After being warned by the Taliban, they will only allow one more week to continue the operation.

President of the United States Joe Biden It faces pressure to extend its August 31 withdrawal deadline, and Britain said on Tuesday it would seek support to extend its presence at a virtual G7 summit.

Identity: “This is a red line”: Taliban warn of “consequences” of delaying US withdrawal after August 31

About 50,000 Afghans and foreigners have already fled through Kabul airport since the Taliban seized power a week ago.

The crowd continues to gather outside the airport for fear that they will live under the command of the Taliban.

Many of them fear a brutal interpretation of Islamic law used during their rule between 1996 and 2001, or retaliation for working with foreign governments for the past two decades.

“The Taliban were the same as they were 20 years ago,” said Nilofer Byat, a women’s rights activist and former leader of the Afghanistan wheelchair basketball team, shortly before his escape to Spain.

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“If you look at Afghanistan today, they are not all men and women because they do not accept women as a part of society,” she said.

Red line

The Taliban, Who ended a two-decade war with a quick victory over government forces, openly tolerated the expulsion attempt.

However, on Monday they said August 31, the scheduled date for the withdrawal of foreign troops, was a “red line” to complete it.

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“If the US or the UK ask for more time to pursue the expulsion, there will be no (…) consequences.”Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen told Sky News.

A spokesman noted that any military presence beyond the agreed deadline would “extend the occupation.”

The Taliban seized power thanks to Biden’s decision to expedite the deal initiated by his predecessor Donald Trump to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan.

However, it had to be sent to support the expulsion of thousands of soldiers after the fall of Kabul.

Biden and his administration have insisted that the August 31 deadline be complied with.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Monday, “Focus on trying [evacuar a la mayor cantidad de gente posible] By the end of the month “.

But European and British officials are asking for more time. British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace reiterated that the issue would be raised at the G7 Virtual Summit on Tuesday.

Germany has said it is in talks with NATO and the Taliban to evacuate Kabul airport after August 31, while France has said it “needs more time to complete current operations.”

The rush to get out of Kabul left images of terror and at least eight people were killed, some of whom were crushed and one fell from the plane.

The German Defense Ministry said on Monday that an Afghan soldier had been killed and three others wounded in a shootout with unidentified assailants.

The new government

The Taliban They are currently in the process of forming a government, but two sources in the movement told the AFP that there would be no cabinet announcement until US troops leave Afghanistan.

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The movement claims to be different than it was in the 1990s and announced a general amnesty for outgoing government forces and officials.

But an intelligence assessment for the UN said the militants were going door-to-door in search of those who had worked with the former government or international forces.

The fundamentalists have imposed a certain peace in the capital, where they patrol the streets and hold security positions.

But at the same time, they are seeking to suppress military resistance, often from former government forces, in the Panshir Valley, north of the capital, which is considered an anti-Taliban stronghold.

The leader of the movement, known as the National Opposition Front, is the son of the famous commander Ahmed Shah Saleh, an opponent of the Taliban.

The Islamist movement has said it has troops on the outskirts of the valley, but wants to negotiate to end the protests before the conflict.

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