US drone attack ‘kills’ ISKP planner in Afghanistan: Live

The United States has announced that it carried out a drone attack in eastern Afghanistan against a “planner” of an ISIL-affiliated group, a day after an attack outside Kabul’s airport that killed at least 175 people and 13 US troops.

“The unmanned airstrike occurred in the Nangarhar Province of Afghanistan. Initial indications are that we killed the target,” Captain Bill Urban of the US Central Command said in a statement.

“We know of no civilian casualties,” he added in a statement announcing the first reported US raid since the attack.

According to s Reuters report, a Reaper drone took off from an unnamed base in the Middle East and hit the target while he was in a car with another associate. Both are believed to have been killed, the official, who asked not to be named, was quoted as saying.

Thursday’s attack was claimed by ISIL (ISIS) offshoot in Afghanistan – the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (also known as ISIS-K).

The news comes as the US forces helping to evacuate Afghans desperate to flee Taliban rule issued an alert on Saturday of possible attacks at Kabul airport.

The US embassy in Kabul also warned Americans who remain in Afghanistan to leave Hamid Karzai International Airport gates “immediately” citing security threats.

Earlier, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Friday that the US believed there are still “specific, credible” threats against the airport.

Meanwhile, Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from Kabul, said evacuations have resumed.

“We have seen a number of planes take off. The number of people around the airport has grown dramatically since yesterday,” he said.

Here are the latest updates:


Afghan refugees arrive at Dulles International Airport in the US state of Virginia on Friday after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan [Olivier Douliery/AFP]

 


Taliban says female public health workers can return to work

Taliban has announced that female workers from the Ministry of Public Health can return to work, according to Al Jazeera’s Ali Latifi, who is reporting from Kabul.

The announcement comes a few days after Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said all female government employees should stay at home until the Taliban can guarantee their safety.


Report: US attack carried out to prevent future ISKP attacks

A US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told the Reuters news agency that the US drone attack was against an ISIL-affiliated group planning “future attacks”.

A Reaper drone, which took off from the Middle East, reportedly struck target while he was in a car with another associate, the official said.

Both are believed to have been killed, the official added.

Thursday’s attack at Kabul airport was claimed by ISIL (ISIS) offshoot in Afghanistan – the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (also known as ISIS-K).


Most of new Afghan refugees ‘likely’ to end up in Iran, Pakistan

Most of the new Afghan refugees fleeing the country following the takeover of the Taliban are likely to end up in Iran and Pakistan, a refugee group said.

Hardin Lang of Refugees International in the US told Al Jazeera on Saturday that “very difficult weeks and months are coming ahead” for the refugees as they try to escape the country.

He pointed out that Iran and Pakistan already host 2.2 million refugees from Afghanistan before the current crisis erupted.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR earlier said that up to half a million Afghans could flee in a “worst-case scenario”.


US drone attack kills ISKP ‘planner’ in eastern Afghanistan

The United States has announced that it carried out a drone attack in eastern Afghanistan against a “planner” of an ISIL-affiliated group, a day after an attack outside Kabul’s airport that killed at least 175 people and 13 US troops.

“Initial indications are that we killed the target. We know of no civilian casualties,” a US military statement said late on Friday.

Thursday’s deadly attack was claimed by ISIL (ISIS) offshoot in Afghanistan – the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP ( also known as ISIS-K).

US President Joe Biden earlier promised to retaliate for the attack in Kabul, confirming that the bombings were carried out by ISKP.

“We will hunt you down and make you pay. I will defend our interests and our people with every measure at my command,” he said.


US embassy in Kabul warns Americans to avoid airport

Americans should avoid travelling to the Kabul airport because of security threats, and those at the Abbey, East, North or Ministry of Interior gates should “leave immediately”, the US Embassy said in a statement on its website.


US says it evacuated 4,200 people in 12 hours

The US says it has evacuated approximately 4,200 people in 12 hours on Friday, following the deadly suicide attack near the airport in Kabul on Thursday.

“Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 109,200 people,” the White House said in a statement. “Since the end of July, we have re-located approximately 114,800 people.”


France ends its evacuation operation

France has ended its evacuation operation in Kabul, government ministers announced late on Friday, citing the “security conditions” and looming withdrawal of US troops by the end of the month.

“In exceptionally difficult circumstances, France evacuated nearly 3,000 people,” a joint statement by Defence Minister Florence Parly and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The ministers added that Paris will continue to help the people of Afghanistan “by all possible means”. They said they will work with Taliban officials to ensure that departures from the country are not impeded after August 31.




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