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US, allies issue terror attack warning for Kabul airport

WASHINGTON DC, USA: Australia, the USA, the UK and a number of nations have issued a high-security alert regarding a terrorist attack at Kabul airport and warned their citizens not to travel there.

Those already outside the airport are advised to leave the area immediately.

More than 82,000 people have been airlifted from Kabul, which fell to the Taliban 10 days ago.

Thousands of people are still waiting inside and outside the airport, hoping to fly out of the country.

Countries are rushing to evacuate people by August 31 deadline.

The Taliban opposed extending the deadline but also promised to allow foreigners and Afghans to leave the country beyond August 31, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

On Thursday, Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, said: “There is an ongoing and very high threat of a terrorist attack”.

It comes hours after the US State Department told those waiting at the Abbey Gate, East Gate or North Gate to “leave immediately”.

The UK issued similar advice asking people there to “move away to a safe location and await further advice”.

The Foreign Office said that the security situation in Afghanistan “remains volatile” adding that there was “an ongoing and high threat of a terrorist attack”. None of the countries gave any further information on the security threat.

In a speech on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden said the US-controlled airlift would have to come to an end soon because of an increasing threat from the Islamic State group in Afghanistan.

About 19,000 people have been evacuated on US-organised flights in the past 24 hours, Blinken said on Wednesday, with airlifts stepped up in recent days amid scenes of chaos.

He said that the US was still on track to complete operations at Kabul airport by the end of the month.

“Only the United States could organise and execute a mission of this scale and this complexity,” he told reporters in Washington.

“The Taliban have made public and private commitments to provide and permit safe passage for Americans, for third-country nationals and Afghans at risk past August 31st,” he said.

He added that the US would help those who wanted to leave Afghanistan “not just during the duration of our evacuation and relocation mission, but every day thereafter”.