Afghanistan updates

The US dramatically scaled again its evacuation mission in Afghanistan on Monday with the variety of civilians being airlifted out of Kabul falling sharply as its forces scramble to withdraw forward of Tuesday’s deadline to finish the 20-year conflict.

Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby mentioned army commanders have been sharing some drawdown logistics with Taliban commanders to “deconflict and stop miscalculations and misunderstandings”. He added: “Up to now that communication has been efficient.”

The tempo of the airlift has slowed considerably in latest days because the US switches its focus from evacuating civilians to withdrawing its troops and gear.

On Monday, the US mentioned its army had evacuated roughly 1,200 individuals over the earlier 24 hours, in contrast with 6,800 on Friday and virtually 13,000 a-day on the peak of the operation final week.

The Taliban on Monday instructed Afghans they might be blocked from going to the airport even when they’d visas and paperwork.

The ultimate push to conclude the evacuation is happening in opposition to the backdrop of an more and more harmful safety scenario in Kabul, the place the airport has been the goal of a profitable suicide bombing and unsuccessful rocket assaults.

Isis claimed accountability for rockets fired at the airport on Monday, though there have been no casualties. US defence officers mentioned 5 rockets have been fired on the airport, one in every of which was intercepted by US rocket defence techniques. 

That assault follows a lethal suicide bombing on Thursday that killed 13 US service personnel, injured 14 extra, and killed greater than 100 civilians who have been close to the Abbey gate of the airport. 

The US has launched a minimum of two drone strikes in retaliation after Biden vowed to “search out” these accountable.

The Pentagon mentioned on Monday it was “assessing and investigating” stories it had killed about 10 civilians with a drone strike on Sunday. “We’re not ready to dispute it,” mentioned Kirby. 

He added: “Make no mistake, no army on the face of the earth works tougher to keep away from civilian casualties than the US army, and no person needs to see harmless life taken.”

The drone strike, which hit a crowded Kabul neighbourhood, has sparked controversy. The US mentioned it “efficiently hit the goal” and had destroyed an explosives-laden automobile that was for use in a second airport assault, and that “important secondary explosions from the focused automobile indicated the presence of a considerable quantity of explosive materials”.

However in Kabul, information stories mentioned a former US military interpreter and several other of his youngsters have been killed within the strike.

Extra reporting by Amy Kazmin in New Delhi