A few days after taking power, the radical Islamist Taliban movement in Afghanistan is intensifying its search for Afghans who allegedly collaborated with Americans or NATO forces. They also searched a crowd of Afghans at the airport in the capital, Kabul. However, the US military managed to evacuate more than 2,000 people from Afghanistan via Kabul airport in the past 24 hours. Major General Hank Taylor announced this at a news conference held by the US Department of Defense on Thursday.
The Taliban are threatening to kill or arrest relatives of Afghans who allegedly cooperated with Americans or NATO forces if they cannot find them, the New York Times reported, citing a classified United Nations document. The conclusions contradict the fundamentalists’ pledges not to retaliate against members and supporters of the fallen Western-backed government. The newspaper said that the report raises growing doubts about this promise and indicates that the Taliban may actually engage in revenge killings, as they did when they took over Afghanistan more than 20 years ago.
According to the document, there are several reports that the Taliban have a list of people they want to interrogate and punish. The list also includes places where wanted persons are said to be. The Afghan army and police, as well as people who worked in the intelligence units of the ousted government, are particularly at risk.
The Taliban is going door to door. Relatives of targets are arrested, killed or arrested unless wanted associates surrender.
The foreign ministers of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will discuss the situation in Afghanistan starting at 2 pm on Friday. The goal is to harmonize the violins and draw more joint action, according to general secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
On Tuesday, Stoltenberg said the coalition’s focus was that its personnel could leave Afghanistan safely. This means not only people from NATO member states and partner countries, but also Afghans who have helped NATO in recent years. An estimated 800 civilians are still working for NATO, directly or indirectly, at Kabul airport.
Since the mission began on August 14, the United States has already removed a total of about 7,000 people from the country. Since the first evacuation flights at the end of last month, 12,000 people have taken part. They include US citizens, US embassy members, and Afghans who have worked for the US as interpreters for the US military, for example.
“We are doing everything we can to evacuate as many people as quickly and safely as possible,” Taylor said, stressing that this was an operation of “national importance.”
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