Afghan Taliban to hold first news conference – Spokesperson

Afghan Taliban to hold first news conference – Spokesperson

Tuesday, August 17, 2021 5:15 pm

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader and negotiator,

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy leader and negotiator,

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said in a tweet that he will hold a news conference on Tuesday at a media centre in Kabul that was previously used by the Afghan government.

Mujahid said media representatives and journalists could come to the media centre.

The Taliban urged people in Afghanistan on Tuesday to live their routine lives with confidence, two days after the group took control of the Afghan capital.

Asian countries including Japan, Nepal, India, and the Philippines have evacuated diplomats and citizens from the country.

The Taliban declared a general amnesty and urged government employees to return to work and women to join its government.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted that the situation in Kabul was completely under control, and that law and order had returned to the city.

Media reported that senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Muttaqi had held several rounds of talks with the Afghan leadership, and talks were going on how the Taliban-led government could absorb new members beyond the Taliban and how the current rights could be preserved.

Evacuation flights carrying diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan’s capital continued as of Tuesday afternoon, a witness confirmed.

“Military flights are continuing in Kabul airport. Roughly at 3:28 p.m. (local time), a huge cargo plane took off from Hamid Karzai International Airport,” witness Farhad Mohammdi who lives near the Kabul airport told Xinhua.

“All Monday night, huge planes were taking off or landing in the airport.

“The sound of four-engine military cargo planes could be heard from Monday night to early hours of the day (Tuesday),” he said.

The United States is taking charge of air traffic control at the airport for military and commercial flights as around 2,500 U.S. soldiers are in Kabul to assist the evacuation of U.S. personnel and others, according to reports.

Earlier on Tuesday, unconfirmed reports said Taliban officials suspended all flights in the airport.

On Monday morning, all commercial flights from Kabul’s airport were suspended amid a big rush of people at the airport.

A government official said an Indian Air Force (IAF) C-17 plane evacuated over 120 Indians, including diplomats, from Kabul and landed in the western state of Gujarat on Tuesday.

During the day, Japan has evacuated all personnel from its embassy in Kabul due to the possible deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and established a temporary office in Istanbul for resuming the embassy’s operations.

As many as 118 Nepalis arrived in the capital Kathmandu from Afghanistan via Kuwait on Tuesday, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

Sewa Lamal, the spokesperson of the Nepali Foreign Ministry, said the Nepali government had made a request to various foreign governments having presence in Afghanistan for help in bringing out Nepalis.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) of the Philippines said 35 Filipinos had been evacuated from Afghanistan after it issued an alert level 4 “due to the uncertain security situation in the country” on Sunday.

Taliban spokesman Mujahid reiterated that the lives and properties of people were safe as there are reports that the Taliban has arrested about 200 people involved in the looting of government properties and vehicles.

The Taliban leadership has ordered its members that “no one is allowed to enter anyone’s house without permission.

“Life, property and honour of none shall be harmed but must be protected,” Mujahid said.

Taliban members on Monday took control of the outside of Kabul airport while thousands of U.S. forces were inside the airport helping to evacuate the crowds.

At least 10 Afghans were reportedly killed in the stampede and shooting inside the airport within the past two days.

The offices of the Afghan Public Health Ministry and the Kabul municipality were reopened on Monday.

Wahid Majrooh, acting minister of public health, appeared together with Taliban public health representatives in televised footage, urging medical workers including female medical employees to return to their jobs.

Small shops were also reopened around the city while banks and business centres mostly remained closed as of Tuesday morning.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani left the country on Sunday night, while the Taliban forces entered the capital of Kabul and took control of the presidential palace. (Reuters/NAN)

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