Sri Lankans in Kabul to be flown out, as Taliban surrounds Afghan Capital – Foreign Secretary

Sri Lankans in Kabul to be flown out, as Taliban surrounds Afghan Capital – Foreign Secretary

Sri Lankans in Kabul to be flown out, as Taliban surrounds Afghan Capital – Foreign Secretary

Written by Zulfick Farzan

15 Aug, 2021 | 2:33 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the special arrangements have been made to bring back Sri Lankans in Afghanistan, as the Taliban positions itself around the Afghan capital Kabul.

Foreign Secretary Professor Jayanath Colombage speaking to News 1st said there are approximately 50 Sri Lankans in the war-torn country.

A senior officer at the embassy speaking to News 1st said more than 43 Sri Lankans attached to UN missions and embassies have reserved tickets to travel back to Sri Lanka.

The Taliban have entered the Afghan capital Kabul from all sides, the Afghan interior ministry said on Sunday (15).

Sirens could be heard along with sporadic gunfire. Multiple helicopters were flying above the city centre and dropping flares, reported foreign media.

The Taliban said it has no plans to take the Afghan capital “by force”. The armed group issued the statement as their fighters entered the outskirts of Kabul.

“The Islamic Emirate instructs all its forces to stand at the gates of Kabul, not to try to enter the city,” a spokesman for the Taliban tweeted, although some residents reported fighters peacefully entered some outer suburbs.

Panicked workers fled government offices. Thousands of civilians now live in parks and open spaces in Kabul itself, fearing the future.

The senior official told Reuters news agency the Taliban were coming in “from all sides” but gave no further details.

Three Afghan officials told The Associated Press the fighters were in the districts of Kalakan, Qarabagh and Paghman in the capital. Fighters earlier took Jalalabad, near a major border crossing with Pakistan, the last major city other than Kabul not under their control.

After its lightning advance on the capital, the armed group ordered its fighters to refrain violence, allow safe passage to anyone seeking to leave and request women to head to protected areas, said a Taliban leader in Doha, Qatar.

The chief of staff to President Ashraf Ghani on Twitter urged the people of Kabul: “Please don’t worry. There is no problem. The situation of Kabul is under control.”

US officials said the diplomats were being ferried to the airport from the embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district. More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations.

Latest News

Are you interested in advertising on our website or video channel
Please contact us at [email protected]