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Thousands stranded in Afghanistan as commercial flights are cancelled

Thousands stranded in Afghanistan as commercial flights are cancelled
August 16
10:54 2021

Thousands of people in Afghanistan are stranded as commercial flights from Kabul’s airport have been cancelled.

Taliban fighters had on Sunday, invaded the outskirts of Kabul, demanding transfer of power.

According to a statement by Afghanistan’s civil aviation authority on Monday, all flights have been temporarily cancelled.

The cancellation of the flights took place in the wake of Kabul’s fall to the Taliban and the mass migration of Afghans amid fear.

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Many have crowded onto the tarmac, hoping to catch a flight out of the country.

“All the flights from Kabul airport have been temporarily cancelled and the passengers should not come to the airport until informed,’’ the statement reads.

The civil aviation authority expressed hope for early restoration of normalcy, but adding that the massive rush of passengers to the airport in the chaotic situation could lead to looting and disorderly conduct.

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It said the civil aviation authority is trying to resume flight operations as soon as possible.

The Taliban, in a statement, told Kabul residents their lives and property are safe and that they can carry on their daily activities.

Earlier, the United States said it was boosting its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 6,000 after the Taliban reached Kabul.

The State Department and Department of Defence said they were aiming to secure Kabul’s airport for the safe departure of US and allied personnel.

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The departments also said they wanted to speed up the evacuation of thousands of Afghan aid workers entitled to US special immigrant visas.

“Over the next 48 hours, we will have expanded our security presence to nearly 6,000 troops, with a mission focused solely on facilitating these efforts and will be taking over air traffic control,” the departments had said.

The move sees a further 1,000 US troops going to Afghanistan, just a day after President Joe Biden had ordered a prior reinforcement of 1,000 soldiers while the deployment of 3,000 was announced last week.

TheCable had reported also that Ashraf Gani, Afghanistan president, fled the country as the Taliban fighters entered the presidential palace in the capital city of Kabul.

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Gani had said he fled the country to avoid bloodshed.

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