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U.S. starts troop withdrawal from Kabul; hits Islamic State with drone attack

WorldAug 28, 2021 11:16PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. service members assist at an Evacuation Control Check Point (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, August 26, 2021. U.S. Marine Corps/Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/Handout via REUTERS 2/2

(Reuters) -President Joe Biden warned on Saturday that another militant attack was highly likely as U.S. troops began leaving Kabul airport after a two-week scramble by Washington and its allies to evacuate citizens and at-risk Afghans.

As Washington neared the end of its military involvement in the country with the Taliban militants it ousted 20 years ago back in power, the United States said it killed two Islamic State militants planning attacks in Afghanistan after a deadly suicide bombing outside the airport on Thursday.

American officials also warned of a high risk of additional attacks by the group - enemies of both the West and Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers - as U.S. forces wind up their mission before a Tuesday deadline set by Biden.

The U.S. president said the situation on the ground remained "extremely dangerous" and that military commanders had told him an attack was highly likely in the next 24 to 36 hours.

After Thursday's blast that killed scores of Afghans and 13 American troops, the most lethal incident https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/didnt-need-happen-pentagon-seeks-answers-deadly-attack-2021-08-28 for U.S. service members in Afghanistan in a decade, Biden vowed to hunt down the perpetrators. He said Friday's strike was not the last.

"We will continue to hunt down any person involved in that heinous attack and make them pay," he said.

The Taliban condemned https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taliban-condemn-us-drone-attack-prepare-set-up-new-afghan-government-2021-08-28 the overnight U.S. drone strike, which took place in Nangarhar Province, an eastern area that borders Pakistan.

"The Americans should have informed us before conducting the air strike. It was a clear attack on Afghan territory," a Taliban spokesman told Reuters, adding that two women and a child were wounded in the attack.

The Taliban have said they have arrested some suspects involved in the airport blast.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said the Taliban would take over the airport "very soon", after U.S. forces withdraw, and announce a full cabinet in the coming days.

The Western-backed government and Afghan army melted away as the hardline Islamist militants entered the capital on Aug. 15, leaving an administrative vacuum that has bolstered fears of a financial collapse and widespread hunger.

Mujahid told Reuters the group had appointed governors and police chiefs in all but one of Afghanistan's 34 provinces and would act to solve the country's economic problems.

A U.S. official told Reuters on Saturday there were fewer than 4,000 troops left at the airport, down from 5,800 at the peak of the evacuation mission. Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby (NYSE:KEX) later confirmed to reporters that the withdrawal had begun but declined to say how many service members remained.

Thursday's suicide blast, claimed by (ISIS-K https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/what-is-islamic-state-afghanistan-2021-08-26), the Afghan affiliate of Islamic State, caused a bloodbath outside the gates of the airport - where thousands of Afghans have gathered to try to get a flight out since the Taliban returned to power.

The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 overthrew the then-ruling Taliban as punishment for harboring the al Qaeda militants behind the Sept. 11 attacks that year.

The Taliban, facing the loss of billions of dollars of aid for the country, appealed to the United States and other Western nations to maintain diplomatic relations after their withdrawal; Britain said that should only happen if the Taliban allow safe passage for those who want to leave and respect human rights.

DANGEROUS FINAL DAYS

The White House said the next few days were likely to be the most dangerous https://www.reuters.com/world/us/advisers-warned-biden-significant-danger-ahead-afghan-mission-official-2021-08-27 of the evacuation operation. The United States and allies have taken about 113,500 people out of Afghanistan in the past two weeks, it said.

U.S. military and allied countries' flights carried fewer people on Saturday as Washington prepared to end its mission.

With another attack against Kabul airport a near certainty, according to U.S. officials, the State Department reiterated its warning to Americans to immediately leave the area due to "a specific, credible threat", including the South gate, new Ministry of Interior, and gate near Panjshir petrol station.

The last British flight https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/britain-end-evacuation-afghanistan-saturday-2021-08-28 evacuating civilians from Afghanistan left Kabul on Saturday. British troops would take small numbers of Afghan citizens with them as they leave this weekend, a defense ministry spokesperson said. Armed forces chief Nick Carter said hundreds of people who had worked with Britain would not make it through.

In the Pentagon's strike on militant suspects in Nangarhar, a U.S. official said on Friday that an MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft flown from the Middle East targeted an Islamic State militant who was planning attacks and was in a car with an associate.

Residents of Jalalabad, the provincial capital, said they had heard several explosions around midnight and community elder Malik Adib said three people were killed and four were wounded in an air strike, adding that he had been summoned by the Taliban investigating the incident.

"Women and children are among the victims," said Adib, though he did not have information about their identity.

The U.S. military said in a statement that it knew of no civilian casualties.

While Kabul's airport has been in chaos, the rest of the city has been generally calm. The Taliban have told residents to hand over government equipment including weapons and vehicles within a week, the group's spokesman said.

The airport attack added fuel to criticism Biden faced at home and abroad for the chaos after Afghanistan's government and military collapsed before a lightning Taliban advance. He has defended his decisions, saying the United States long ago achieved its rationale for invading in 2001.

U.S. starts troop withdrawal from Kabul; hits Islamic State with drone attack
 

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Comments (27)
MK MK
MK MK Aug 29, 2021 9:00AM ET
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Run, disgraceful yankees :)Just like you did in Vietnam, Siria and so on.Just think what would happen with your army if you were faced Russians or Chinese. What the losers :)
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Aug 29, 2021 4:04AM ET
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Fact: 2020 Feb to 2021 Jan: Trump in charge (of Afghan withdrawal): FAILED. 2021 Feb to May: Biden in charge: Grossly MISMANAGED
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Aug 29, 2021 4:04AM ET
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Overall: Trump is a bigger failure than Biden, solely due to lack of education. Trump, with an UNeducated mind, can not solve problems like an educated mind can, even like an educated mind gone partially senile. An educated mind gone senile still has an edge over an uneducated one like Trump or that of his jail bird sympathizers here
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam Aug 29, 2021 12:30AM ET
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This is another joke. This will not happen now ..."Biden says an attack at the airport in Kabul is ‘highly likely’ in the next 24 to 36 hours"
Peter BullMarket
Peter BullMarket Aug 28, 2021 10:06PM ET
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US president words is completely discredited
Dan Pickens
Dan Pickens Aug 28, 2021 6:45PM ET
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F the Taliban…
Stephen Willis
Stephen Willis Aug 28, 2021 6:08PM ET
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Biden's Saigon
Darryl Allen
Darryl Allen Aug 28, 2021 3:52PM ET
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Trump would never allow this circus
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 28, 2021 3:52PM ET
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Trump would WAS the circus.
Adrian White
Adrian White Aug 28, 2021 3:52PM ET
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Trump *WAS the circus.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Aug 28, 2021 3:52PM ET
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Under Trump 5,000 Taliban prisoners were released. He gave them free tickets for this circus
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Aug 28, 2021 3:52PM ET
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Adrian White -- LOL. Yes Trump WAS the circus. And he wouldnt be able to do the right thing
jason xx
jason xx Aug 28, 2021 2:05PM ET
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I feel bad for the Afgans left that worked with allied command. They will prob be executed when everyone is gone
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Aug 28, 2021 2:05PM ET
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2020 Feb, when the Withdrawal treaty was first signed: What were Afghan ppl thinking? That the Taliban evolved into a muture leadership? Look back how quickly Is 'lam has adapted to the future of anything? -- Everybody among the Afghans was sitting on their hands for 16 months and suddenly woke up. Average common sensed people left Afghan 30 years ago, others left 20 years ago. A phrase says 'The last ones get bitten by the dog'. Yes we feel sorry for the last ones that couldnt get out. We can pray for them
king michael
king michael Aug 28, 2021 2:04PM ET
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The millinery has claimed so many victories in for the last 20 years and has claimed destroyed the terrorism in Afghan, and will claim more victories all over the world. But anyone believe it anymore?
Adamo Nals
Adamo Nals Aug 28, 2021 1:13PM ET
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Softest most idiomatic defeatist president in the history of our country. He should be removed immediately. He can’t even answer one question on his own. It’s beyond a joke
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 28, 2021 12:40PM ET
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Now ex cia director under Obama saying we need to go back into Afghanistan. With Biden basically a cia/ deep state frontman, the wars will go on for years. This epic failure will lead to more wars, just what they want. Oh look, a drone strike. Who did they ****and why? Yea right.
James Franigan
James Franigan Aug 28, 2021 12:10PM ET
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That was a real proportionate response!!!
Jose Maderno
Jose Maderno Aug 28, 2021 11:39AM ET
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"Initial indications"...Reuters asked 5 mommies in Portland during their exhaustive research.
Necleus Electron
Necleus Electron Aug 28, 2021 11:01AM ET
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Beloe is what i call propangandist. These are the usual western tactics, silent the critics when their ugly self are exposed. They always want to protray themselves as noble n want other to hold them in high esteem. Thats what i always said, they are just superficial on the surface, nothing else.
Mun Hoe Wong
Mun Hoe Wong Aug 28, 2021 10:37AM ET
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No photos or videos to authenticate the retaliation took place. Frabricated for the media and the Americans?
Eero Rintala
Eero Rintala Aug 28, 2021 10:34AM ET
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obama gave weapons to isis and now Biden to taleban
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 28, 2021 10:34AM ET
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Yes , that’s what liberal presidents do.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Aug 28, 2021 10:34AM ET
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And Trump gave 5,000 Taliban prisoners back to the Taliban.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Aug 28, 2021 10:34AM ET
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And Trump gave 5,000 Taliban prisoners back to the Taliban.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Aug 28, 2021 10:33AM ET
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Initial indications are that we killed the target," a U.S. military statement said.  They couldn't hit the broad side of a barn
Necleus Electron
Necleus Electron Aug 28, 2021 10:26AM ET
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Look at China and Russia, they respect other nations, respect other nations way of doing things. They dont poke their busy body nose into others affairs. The western nations like to think of themselves as noble and force their imperialism and ideas down peoples throat. Infact they are the most superficial creatures around.
Chris Sundo
Chris Sundo Aug 28, 2021 10:26AM ET
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No! I wouldnt say that at all. Russia took Crimea, China is pushing its borders over that of India. China is illegitimally claiming the South China Sea, Russia kept Eastern Germany before reunification, China is making loans to poor natiins and takes territory in return for unpaid loans. China threatens its citizens in foreign countries. China commits genocide with its own residents of China, the Uighers. All communists disrespect their own people from North Korea China, to Russia. -- You should educate yourself on those opinions, Mr. Electron, before you speak untruths
Scott Bailey
Scott Bailey Aug 28, 2021 9:27AM ET
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I suppose the current admin will glory in their “victory”, even though they caused the whole event in the first place
Tyrone Jackson
Tyrone Jackson Aug 28, 2021 9:27AM ET
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That is the liberal- leftist way. Only re act. We see through their act.
Sol Wein
Sol Wein Aug 28, 2021 9:25AM ET
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They prob hit some poor herder and claim its a terorist
Eudon Hickey
Eudon Hickey Aug 28, 2021 7:42AM ET
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Obama must be angry if the USA attack IS, after all, he created and armed them
Vv Pp
Vv Pp Aug 28, 2021 7:42AM ET
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🤦‍♀️
Millennial Metals
Millennial Metals Aug 28, 2021 5:32AM ET
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The USA lost in 1971
GP PS
GP PS Aug 28, 2021 4:48AM ET
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In all the articles I have the killed man is defined as a "planner" , quotation marks included. The journalists themselves are doubtful about the identity of the scapegoat. I suppose it's another shepherd killed by the American administration for marketing purposes. Another accomplished mission, I'd say.
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam Aug 28, 2021 4:29AM ET
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This whole USA Afghanistan Afghan Taliban joke is shameful to the modern world. Nobody knows where the"US trained" Afghan army military is. What a joke. I am truly ashamed to live on the same planet as these jokers do. Yuck
Necleus Electron
Necleus Electron Aug 28, 2021 4:03AM ET
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now you see why the US is the biggest enemy of the world! WW3 will start because of america!
Silence Dogood
Silence Dogood Aug 28, 2021 4:03AM ET
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You have no idea what you're talking about. The US always seeks to liberate oppressed people like those in Western China who are being k!lled because of their religion.. THEIR RELIGION!!!!!!!!!! Such freaks...
Kwong To
Kwong To Aug 28, 2021 4:03AM ET
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The blacks are also oppressed people in US. Doing anything to help them?
Ronald Warren
Ronald Warren Aug 28, 2021 4:03AM ET
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Free housing, food, cash assistance, free medical. Disability checks for their children with ADD. It goes on. Entitlement spending is 70% of the federal budget!! That's right! 2.5 trillion a year!
Anton Andersson
Anton Andersson Aug 28, 2021 4:03AM ET
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And thanks to that they will never make something out of their lives except for more kids
Jody Darden
Jody Darden Aug 28, 2021 4:03AM ET
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Anton Andersson they have free will
 
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