Taliban ban Afghans from evacuating amid massive security sweep

Taliban ban Afghans from evacuating amid massive security sweep

This post was originally published on this site The Taliban have clamped down on Afghans leaving the country as, separately, their forces continue a massive security sweep, going house-to-house across the capital Monday in a “clearing operation”. The new travel ban was announced late Sunday by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid,...

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Taliban holding at least 9 foreigners in Kabul, including 1 American

Taliban holding at least 9 foreigners in Kabul, including 1 American

The Taliban are holding at least nine foreigners in custody in Kabul, including “one American and several British citizens,” The Wall Street Journal reports Friday, per sources familair with the situation.
Among those being held are British reporter Andrew North — a freelance journalist formerly with the BBC — and an Irish photographer “who were in Kabul on assignment for the United Nations’ refugee agency, UNHCR.” The two were recently detained alongside the Afghan journalist and Afghan driver they were working with, adds the Journal. 
“We are doing our utmost to resolve the situation, in coordination with others. We will make no further comment given the nature of the situation,” the U.N. said in a statement on the matter, per The New York Times.
Since December, seven other Westerners have been detained by the Taliban, including one American, adds the Journal. The six others are British citizens. All were detained separately, and most had worked in the security sector, sources told the Journal. 
“These are the first known cases of Westerners detained at length in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover in August,” the Journal notes.
The detentions could also serve to further inflame tensions between the Taliban and the West, as well as potentially complicate the militant group’s “attempts to seek legitimacy with countries that have maintained crippling economic sanctions since the former government collapsed,” adds the Times.
“I don’t know whether we are seeing some organized collective crackdown or whether you just have some individual situations, but it’s certainly concerning any time individuals with valid foreign credentials are detained,” Mark Jacobson, who worked as deputy NATO representative in Afghanistan, told the Journal, “whether it’s a government that recognizes international convention or the Taliban.”

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U.S. announces fresh $308 million in aid for struggling Afghans

U.S. announces fresh $308 million in aid for struggling Afghans

This post was originally published on this siteThe United States announced Tuesday that it was giving more than $308 million in humanitarian aid to the Afghan people,.

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Last Afghan refugees leave temporary housing at Marine Corps Base Quantico

Last Afghan refugees leave temporary housing at Marine Corps Base Quantico

This post was originally published on this siteThe last Afghan refugees who were temporarily housed at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Virginia have left, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced Thursday. The base is the second of eight installations that were established to…

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The Taliban have halted all evacuee flights out of Afghanistan for the past two weeks

The Taliban have halted all evacuee flights out of Afghanistan for the past two weeks

This post was originally published on this siteThe Taliban have halted all flights of Afghan evacuees for the past two weeks amid a dispute over whether the Taliban can put its own people on the flights.

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Taliban appeal to US Congress to release Afghan assets

Taliban appeal to US Congress to release Afghan assets

This post was originally published on this site The Taliban called Wednesday on US Congress members to release Afghan assets frozen after their takeover of the country, warning economic turmoil at home could lead to trouble abroad. In an open letter, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said the biggest...

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Zalmay Khalilzad explains what went wrong with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

Zalmay Khalilzad explains what went wrong with the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan

This post was originally published on this siteNPR’s Steve Inskeep talks to Zalmay Khalilzad, who stepped down last week as the U.S. envoy to Afghanistan. He played the lead role in negotiating a deal with the Taliban to withdraw U.S. troops.

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U.S. and Taliban hold first talks since Afghanistan withdrawal

U.S. and Taliban hold first talks since Afghanistan withdrawal

This post was originally published on this siteThe two parties will be discussing containment of extremist groups in Afghanistan and easing evacuation of foreign citizens and Afghans from the country, officials from both sides said.

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