France ends Kabul evacuation mission citing deteriorating security
France has ended evacuation operations from Afghanistan’s capital, a day after blasts outside Kabul airport killed 13 US troops and at least 170 others. The airlift had to be stopped because “security conditions were no longer being met at the airport”, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Defence Minister Florence Parly said.
US warship transits Taiwan Strait after Chinese assault drills
A US warship and a US Coast Guard cutter sailed through the Taiwan Strait following Chinese assault drills last week. The vessels transited “through international waters in accordance with international law,” US Navy said. China called the move “provocative” and said the US is the “biggest destroyer of peace and stability and…biggest cause of security risks in…Taiwan Strait.”
4,200 people evacuated from Kabul in past 12 hours: White House
At least 4,200 people were evacuated from Kabul during a 12-hour period, White House said. The total number of evacuees from Afghanistan since August 14 has reached around 1,09,200, it added. “Approximately 5,400 individuals are at Kabul airport awaiting flights out of Afghanistan,” Pentagon said.
US says it has killed ISIS-K planner in drone strike after Kabul airport attack
The US military on Friday said that it had carried out a drone strike against a planner of Islamic State-Khorasan (ISIS-K), the group which claimed responsibility for the Kabul airport attack. “Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” said Captain Bill Urban of the Central Command.
US billionaire sells flight tickets for $6,500 per head in Afghanistan, criticised for his actions
US private security firm Blackwater’s billionaire founder Erik Prince has reportedly been charging people $6,500 for a seat on a charter flight out of Afghanistan, as thousands attempt to flee. “I don’t think any human being who has a heart and soul would support efforts to profit off of people’s agony,” said White House press secretary Jen Psaki, criticising Prince.