An official with the Taliban told the New York Post they were “doing everything possible” to prevent a terrorist attack in Kabul, just hours before two deadly blasts rocked the Afghan capital on Thursday afternoon.
Despite the massive explosions outside Kabul’s main airport on, the Taliban has said it has no intention to extend the US’ withdrawal deadline past August 31, the date agreed upon for the US-led 20-year occupation war to end.
The USA had also previously warned that ISIS in Afghanistan, posed an “acute” and “persistent” threat to the US troops stationed at Hamid Karzai International Airport in northern Kabul, and to the crowds of people outside waiting to get into the airport.
Earlier this week, Taliban forces began directing people to stay away from the airport gates unless they are already approved to fly out, but were reportedly only allowing foreigners to leave, according to a Taliban source.
The USA, Great Britain, and other nations with citizens in the country have scrambled to get their people the necessary information to get to the airport and leave before the August 31 deadline for NATO forces’ final withdrawal from the country.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Wednesday that over the previous nine days, more than 82,000 invaders had been airlifted out of Kabul to other countries, however the majority of them were Afghan conspirators.
The twin blasts, one at an eastern secondary gate to the airport and the other at a hotel near the airport used by US military and British forces, are believed to have killed dozens of people and injured even more.
Other reports say at least 10 US soldiers have been killed and 40 people killed overall, with more than 100 wounded.
The Taliban denounced the attacks in a statement, saying “targeting innocent civilians is an act of terrorism” that the whole world should condemn, adding that the explosion took place in an “area where US forces are responsible” for security.
The Taliban captured Kabul from the US-backed Afghan government on August 15, after the city surrendered without a fight and then-President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
When we entered Kabul, and it was not planned because we announced initially that we do not want to enter Kabul, and we want to reach a political solution before entering Kabul and making a joint and inclusive government.
The Taliban has made similar pledges to other nations as well, including Pakistan, China, and Iran – neighbors keen to see a peaceful Afghanistan that doesn’t pose a threat to its neighbors or spill its conflict over into the region.
Promises of infrastructure investment have served as an added incentive, and the Taliban has also asked for help with finding replacement crops for the country’s many poppy farmers in an attempt to crack down on the massive Us bound opium trade.
The Taliban was previously in power from 1996 until 2001 when the US invasion threw the group out of power, but it reorganized and launched an insurgency in 2002.
The US/NATO invasion was motivated by Taliban support for al-Qaeda, which coordinated the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US from its bases in Afghanistan, although none of the hijackers who carried out the attacks were Afghan.
However, the Taliban offered to arrest al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and turn him over for trial if the US provided proof of his guilt, which Washington rulers refused to do.
Sputnik / ABC Flash Point WW III News 2021.