Afghanistan latest news – Taliban killers go door-to-door hunting pro-West collaborators, plus Biden's 'bald-faced lie'

Brutal scenes continue to unfold in the country as desperate Afghans and their families try to flee.

As the Taliban shoot dead protesters and whip crowds in Afghanistan after initial charm offensive, many mothers have been throwing their babies over wire fences to get them to safety.

A Parachute Regiment officer recalled the situation, saying: “The mothers were desperate, they were getting beaten by the Taliban. They shouted ‘save my baby’ and threw the babies at us, some of the babies fell on the barbed wire. It was awful what happened. By the end of the night there wasn’t one man among us who was not crying”.

The Baron hotel, near the Kabul airport, has become the focal point where Afghans seeking refuge to go to the UK have been gathering. There are other points across Afghanistan that citizens can reach to be evacuated.

Read our Afghanistan live blog below for the latest news & updates…

  • Milica Cosic

    BIDEN BLASTED FOR ‘BALD-FACED LIES’ OVER KABUL CHAOS (CONTINUED…)

    Republicans blasted Biden for his remarks as some accused the president of "ignorance and dishonesty", MailOnline reports.

    Senator Tom Cotton tweeted: "No way to avoid chaos? That's a bald-faced lie. Joe Biden is as dishonest as he is impotent."

    Meanwhile, Rep. Liz Cheney said: "A truly ignorant and shameful performance by an American president."

    Read the article in full here.

  • Milica Cosic

    BIDEN BLASTED FOR ‘BALD-FACED LIES’ OVER KABUL CHAOS

    The criticism comes as the president snapped at photographs that showed stowaways falling to their deaths as they tried to escape the Taliban.

    Biden didn’t appear to show any regrets following the chaotic scenes in Kabul that saw US diplomats hastily evacuated as insurgents seized the capital on Sunday.

    Critics compared the retreat to the "fall of Saigon" in 1975 that effectively ended the Vietnam War.

    Biden told ABC on Wednesday: “No, I don't think it could have been handled in a way that, we're gonna go back in hindsight and look.

    "But the idea that somehow, there's a way to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens. I don't know how that happened."

    Biden was slammed for 'bald-faced lies' following his interview on ABC
  • Milica Cosic

    A NEW UPRISING

    President Saleh has been seen with the son of his former mentor, the famed anti-Taliban fighter Ahmed Shah Massoud in the mountains as they form up a resistance.

    Speaking to the Times earlier this year, he said: "I am ready to die with a chest and head full of a hundred bullets rather than be part of an elite deal which will sell the rights of my people to a medieval terrorist organisation."

    Massoud led the Northern Alliance against the Taliban until his assassination by al-Qaeda, two days before the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

    Saleh said: "I will never betray the soul and legacy of my hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, the commander, the legend and the guide."

    The Northern Alliance movement is now officially alive for the first time since 2001, led by the 32-year-old son of its ex-leader Massoud and who shares his name.

    Ahmad Massoud, who was trained at Sandhurst, said: "I am in Panjshir with my people.We will stand with our people to the end."

    Soldiers from Afghan Security forces travel on an armed vehicle along a road in Panjshir province of Afghanistan
  • Milica Cosic

    SAS-TRAINED AFGHAN COMMANDOS VOW TO FIGHT TO OUR ‘LAST DROP OF BLOOD’ AS RESISTANCE RISES UP AGAINST ‘MEDIEVAL’ TALIBAN

    Afghan forces who are still determined to continue fighting are regrouping in the Panjshir Valley, an area just 80 miles north of Kabul.

    It is the only one of the country’s 34 provinces not to have fallen to the religious fanatics who steamrollered across Afghanistan in a matter of weeks.

    Any soldiers or militias who want to take up arms against the Taliban are being urged to flock to Panjshir – where Afghanistan's vice president Amrullah Saleh has declared himself the country's rightful leader.

    In a Twitter message to Afghans, Saleh said: "Join the resistance. I will never, ever and under no circumstances bow to Talib terrorists."

    He has vowed to resist after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country – reportedly escaping with bags of cash worth up to $169million.

    Read more here.

  • Milica Cosic

    HOW DOES TALIBAN FUND ITSELF?

    The Taliban is said to hold a war chest worth $US1.6billion (£1.2billion) to fund its fight in Afghanistan.

    Money comes in from a variety of sources including drugs, real estate and donations.

    Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium exporter which provides most of the Taliban’s cash.

    Cesar Gudes, head of the Kabul office of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told Reuters: “The Taliban have counted on the Afghan opium trade as one of their main sources of income.

    “More production brings drugs with a cheaper and more attractive price, and therefore a wider accessibility.”

  • Milica Cosic

    AFGHAN GIRLS SING ON AIRPORT RUNWAY

    BBC news’ South Asia Correspondent, Rajini Vaidyanathan, shares a harrowing video of Afghan girls singing on an airport runway.

    In the tweet, Rajini translates the words the girls are singing; “I became homeless”.

    She also says: “Their sweet, soothing voices filled with the pain so many there are feeling.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    NEGOTIATING WITH TALIBAN 'ONLY CHOICE' FOR THE WEST, TRAPPED VETERAN SAYS

    A former Royal Marine turned charity director trapped in Afghanistan has said Britain and America have "no choice" but to negotiate with the Taliban if they want to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

    Paul Farthing, known as "Pen", has been battling to get all of his 25 staff from animal welfare charity Nowzad and their families out of the country as the Taliban complete their takeover. He is also faced with the prospect of having to put down all of the 140 dogs in his care, and potentially the 60 cats when the final evacuation flights have left.

    Mr Farthing told the PA news agency he has had no communication from the Foreign Office or Ministry of Defence since the Afghan government collapsed. So far, only his wife and a heavily pregnant member of staff have made it into the airfield, but they are still waiting to be admitted on to a flight.

    He told the PA news agency that he saw no path out of the "hell on earth" brewing at the airport other than bargaining with the Taliban and opening up flows of aid to the country.

    "There is no choice, is there? The Taliban are in charge and I think the sooner Joe Biden and Boris Johnson and the rest of the western countries admit that, then maybe, just maybe we have a chance at supporting this country and moving forward."

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPLAINED: WHERE DOES THE TALIBAN GET ITS FUNDING FROM?

    The Taliban is said to hold a war chest worth $US1.6billion (£1.2billion) to fund its fight in Afghanistan.

    Money comes in from a variety of sources including drugs, real estate and donations.

    Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium exporter which provides most of the Taliban’s cash.

    Cesar Gudes, head of the Kabul office of the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), told Reuters: “The Taliban have counted on the Afghan opium trade as one of their main sources of income.

    “More production brings drugs with a cheaper and more attractive price, and therefore a wider accessibility.”

  • Joseph Gamp

    MILITARY CHIEF'S TALIBAN COMMENTS SHOULD BE VALUED, SAYS DEFENCE SECRETARY

    Ben Wallace has defended the head of the British armed forces for suggesting the Taliban may have "changed" in the last 20 years.

    The Defence Secretary said General Sir Nick Carter is "deeply experienced" and his remarks should be listened to and valued.

    Gen Sir Nick, Chief of the Defence Staff, said on Wednesday that the world needs to be patient and "hold its nerve" to see what Afghanistan's future will look like under a Taliban-led government.

    During a round of broadcast interviews, he told the BBC it "may well be a Taliban that is more reasonable, less repressive and, if you look at the way it is governing Kabul at the moment, there are some indications that it is more reasonable".

  • Joseph Gamp

    PLAID CYMRU SAYS RAAB 'SHOULD RESIGN O BE REMOVED FROM HIS POST'

    Plaid Cymru Westminster leader Liz Saville Roberts said: "The Foreign Secretary and the life-saving phone call he didn't make: a failure of political judgment, a shoulder-shrug to duty and a callous lack of humanity. He failed to make the right call.

    "The Foreign Secretary no longer commands respect following his mishandling of duties during the Afghanistan emergency.

    "Dominic Raab should resign or be removed from post."

  • Joseph Gamp

    BIDEN SAYS 'MILITARY FORCE' NOT THE WAY TO PROTECT WOMEN'S RIGHTS

    Joe Biden also told ABC that war is not the answer to growing fears for the human rights of women in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover.

    "The idea that we're able to deal with the rights of women around the world by military force is not rational," Biden said in his first interview since the Taliban victory triggered a frantic final US withdrawal.

    Referring to the Uighur ethnic minority in China and other areas of the world facing extreme human rights abuses, Biden said "the way to deal with that is not with a military invasion."

    "There are a lot of places where women are being subjugated," he said. "The way to deal with that is putting economic, diplomatic and international pressure on them to change their behavior."

    Biden told ABC that many women were trying to leave Afghanistan through the US evacuation at Kabul's airport. The president said he told advisors to "get them out, get their families out."

    "As many as we can get out we should," he said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    THREE IRISH CITIZENS EVACUATED FROM AFGHANISTAN

    The number of Irish citizens known to be in Afghanistan and hoping to leave the country has risen, the Government said.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said on Thursday that the number has increased slightly to 36 – but three have managed to leave the country.

    The Department of Foreign Affairs also confirmed to the PA news agency that a small number of Irish citizens are now at Kabul Airport, awaiting evacuation.

    "The department is not in a position to disclose the specific details of those who have sought consular assistance," a spokesman sai

  • Joseph Gamp

    JOE BIDEN SAYS TALIBAN MUST DECIDE WHETHER IT WANTS INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION

    WASHINGTON, Aug 19 (Reuters) – The Taliban must decide whether it wants to be recognized by the international community, president Biden has said.

    In an ABC interview aired in the US in Thursday, he added that he did not think the group had changed its fundamental beliefs.

  • Joseph Gamp

    SNP WESTMINSTER LEADER ATTACKS FOREIGN SEC OVER CAVALIER RESPONSE TO CRISIS

    Ian Blackford has attacked Dominic Raab saying he should be “ashamed of himself” for his conduct suggesting he was still behaving like he was on holiday.

    Raab has been heavily criticised for not returning from holiday until the fall of Kabul despite it being clear that the Taliban would overrun Afghanistan within a matter of days.

    He attacked the UK government for cutting the international development aid budget before the end of summer and said the pledged commitment to Afghanistan now was not even enough to return it to previous levels.

  • Joseph Gamp

    HARROWING FOOTAGE OF STOWAWAYS FALLING HUNDREDS OF FEET FROM AIRCRAFT SHOCKED THE WORLD

    Harrowing video shows stowaways falling several hundred feet to their deaths after being thrown from a C-17 transport aircraft taking off from Kabul airport.

    Other images taken from the ground show stowaways clinging to the plane as it took off.

    At one stage, US Apache helicopter gunships were brought in to clear a path for the transport planes, swooping low to disperse people massed on the runway and firing warning shots.

    One witness said he had seen the bodies of five people being taken to a vehicle at the airport.

    American troops guarding the airport were forced to fire shots into the air but it's unclear if those who died were hit by bullets or crushed in the stampede. Dozens were later reportedly treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital in Kabul.

  • Joseph Gamp

    TALIBAN ‘KNOCKING ON DOORS AND TELLING AFGHANS TO GO BACK TO WORK

    It has been reported that armed Taliban members are knocking on doors of Afghan civilians in cities, telling fearful residents to return to their jobs. This comes just a day after the militants announced they wanted to revive the country’s battered economy.

    Wasima, 38, told the Reuters she was shocked when three Taliban members with guns visited her home on Wednesday morning. She said they took down her details, enquired about her job, as well as her salary, and told her to resume working.

    Others, who wish to remain anonymous, told Reuters that there had been unannounced visits from the Taliban in the past 24 hours.

  • Joseph Gamp

    AUSSIE PM THANKS BORIS JOHNSON FOR HELP IN EVACUATING AUSTRALIANS FROM AFGHANISTAN

    Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has thanked Boris Johnson for the UK's help in evacuating Australians from Afghanistan.

    Downing Street said the Prime Minister spoke to his Australian counterpart on Thursday morning.

    A spokesperson said: "The leaders agreed the immediate priority was to evacuate their nationals and former employees from Afghanistan, and to continue working together to achieve this. Prime Minister Morrison thanked the Prime Minister for the UK's help evacuating 76 Australians on an RAF flight yesterday.

    "The Prime Minister stressed the need for a concerted international effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, including through increasing aid to the region and the resettlement of refugees.

    "The Prime Minister and Prime Minister Morrison updated one another on the work the UK and Australia are doing to this effect.

    "Finally, looking ahead to the UK-hosted Cop26 Summit, the Prime Minister underlined the importance of global action on climate change. This includes setting ambitious targets for reaching net zero and increasing climate financing."

  • Joseph Gamp

    AFGHAN GIRLS SING ON AIRPORT RUNWAY

    BBC news' South Asia Correspondent, Rajini Vaidyanathan, shares a harrowing video of Afghan girls singing on an airport runway.

    In the tweet, Rajini translates the words the girls are singing; “I became homeless”.

    She also says: "Their sweet, soothing voices filled with the pain so many there are feeling."

  • Joseph Gamp

    AFGHAN STOWAWAY ‘KILLED IN PLANE’S LANDING GEAR’ WAS FOOTBALLER WHO POSTED FINAL MESSAGE ABOUT ‘CHOOSING OWN DESTINY’

    A FORMER Afghan national youth team footballer reportedly died in the landing gear of a US plane while trying to flee Kabul.

    Zaki Anwari’s remains were said to have been found aboard the US Air Force C-17 transport plane after the aircraft dashed to escape the advancing Taliban while carrying hundreds of refugees.

    Zaki, 19, is believed to be one of the individuals who was killed after clinging onto the plane, according to the The General Directorate of Physical Education & Sports of Afghanistan, reports Ariana News.

    Pictures shocked they world as they showed hundreds of Afghans swarming around the plane desperate to get on board and escape the Taliban.

    And it was reported two people fell from the aircraft and one had become trapped in the landing gear – which caused the plane to make an emergency landing in Qatar.

  • Joseph Gamp

    DOMINIC RAAB WON'T RESIGN

    Dominic Raab, asked if he was going to resign as Foreign Secretary, told reporters in Downing Street: "No."

  • Joseph Gamp

    KEIR STARMER COMMENTS ON CLAIMS DOMINIC RAAB WAS ‘UNABLE TO MAKE A PHONE CALL’ TO AFGHAN COUNTERPART WHILE ON HOLIDAY

    Responding to claims Dominic Raab was “unavailable” to make a phone call to his Afghan counterpart while on holiday, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted: “Who wouldn’t make a phone call if they were told it could save somebody’s life?”

  • Joseph Gamp

    UK 'USING EVERY SPACE POSSIBLE' ONEVACUATION FLIGHTS, GOVERNMENT SAYS

    The UK is using "every space possible" on its evacuation flights leaving Afghanistan, according to the Defence Secretary.

    Ben Wallace said other nations have been offered places on UK planes, with Nato interpreters and some Japanese people "in need" among those to receive help.

    Reports have suggested evacuation flights to other countries had left Kabul with only a handful of people on board. But Mr Wallace told Times Radio: "Our people are getting through, we haven't sent a single empty plane home. And I don't think many other nations have.

    "I can't speak for other nations, obviously, but fundamentally the key here is when we have a plane, if we have a single empty seat, we will offer it to other nations.

    "We've taken out interpreters who work for Nato, for example, we've taken out fellow European or other… we took some Japanese people out recently who were in need, so we will use every space on our planes possible."

  • Joseph Gamp

    SNP'S IAN BLACKFORD JOINS CALLS FOR RAAB TO RESIGN

    SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said: "Tory ministers cannot wash their hands of responsibility for this foreign policy disaster.

    "Dominic Raab has failed to perform his basic duties as Foreign Secretary, and he has put people's lives at risk.

    "His position is completely untenable and he must resign, or be sacked."

  • Joseph Gamp

    SHADOW FOREIGN SECRETARY DEMANDS DOMINIC RAAB IS SACKED

    Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy called for Dominic Raab to either resign or be sacked.

    She said: "How can Boris Johnson allow the Foreign Secretary to continue in his role after yet another catastrophic failure of judgment?

    "If Dominic Raab doesn't have the decency to resign, the Prime Minister must show a shred of leadership and sack him."

  • Joseph Gamp

    ELITE MULLAH

    The Taliban have vowed to impose Sharia law on Afghanistan, in their first public statement since taking power.

    Clark – a former soldier who fought in Afghanistan – said Baradar has blood on his hands from when the Taliban were last in power.

    “When we saw the executions when the Taliban were in power, it’s not a stretch to imagine that he would have been responsible,” he said

    “The fact that he is a Mullah and founding member of the Taliban adds to his ability enforce policy at the more brutal and extreme end based on Sharia law.

    “Mullah’s have absolute control of the Taliban – they are the elite.”

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