Kabul airport evacuees are unaware of imminent threat says expert
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BBC host Naga Munchetty was stunned to hear that the thousands of people still waiting at Kabul airport in hopes to flee are “unaware” of a new terrorist threat from ISIS-K. BBC Afghanistan correspondent Secunder Kermani said the warnings issued by the UK, US, and Australian Embassies have not “filtered down” to those piling up outside the airport. The UK has urged British nationals to stay away for the building amid concerning intelligence about an “imminent” terror attack.
Mr Kermani told the BBC presenter: “This kind of information about this possible threat, which many suspect emanates from the Islamic State group which is far less powerful than the Taliban but does have a presence here in Afghanistan and has carried out some truly devastating attacks in the past.
“Information about that attack is not going to filter down to those people on the ground there.
“They’re so desperate they don’t even know what documentation they need to bring. What the process is.”
He went on: “So it’s not going to make a difference to the crowds who are turning up.
“But it could well make a difference to the safety of those who are still trying to get there.”
“So are you saying to me they actually aren’t even aware that there is this threat because we’ve been told here.
The reporter answered: “No, I don’t think so.”
The US has warned crowds trying to access Kabul airport to leave the area, as Britain, Australia, and New Zealand were alerted of a terrorist attack yesterday.
All four countries asked that people trying to flee the rule of the Taliban no longer attempt to travel to the airport.
However, many people are still seen queuing outside authorities, attempting to get on flights to the west.
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ISIS-K is a sworn enemy of the Taliban, and they have a history of fighting one another.
A recent UN Security Council report suggested there were between 1,000 and 2,200 Isis-K fighters, down from a peak of between 5,000 and 6,000 in 2016, but their ranks may have been swelled in recent weeks as the Taliban’s advance saw prisoners freed across the country
ISIS-K is hostile towards the Taliban due to its more extreme version of Islam and the two groups have previously fought over control of territory in Afghanistan.
After the Taliban’s takeover of the country last week, the group reportedly executed a senior ISIS-K commander who had been imprisoned in Kabul.
The conflict between the two groups means that ISIS-K is less likely to be bound by the Taliban’s agreement with Western forces to allow evacuations to continue from Kabul airport.
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