Britons in Afghanistan advised to leave immediately

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UK Foreign Office has warned that specific methods of terrorist attacks are evolving and there is a high threat of kidnapping throughout Afghanistan, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Amid a surge in violence by Taliban in Afghanistan post US drawdown, the United Kingdom on Friday (local time) advised its citizens to leave the country because of the “worsening security situation”.

The United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) released Afghanistan travel advice and said, “all British nationals in Afghanistan are advised to leave now by commercial means because of the worsening security situation.”

It added that the UK citizens should contact the embassy to confirm their departure plans.

“Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. Specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication. You should note an overall increased threat to Western interests in Kabul. There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country,” FCDO said in a statement.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab

On Friday, the Taliban killed Dawa Khan Menapal, the director of Afghanistan’s government media centre in the capital Kabul, just days after an assassination attempt on the country’s acting defence minister.

Earlier this week, a Taliban bombing attack targeted Afghanistan’s acting defence minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi.

However, Afghanistan acting Defence Minister later informed that he and his family are safe following a “terrorist attack” on his residence in Kabul.

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The Taliban has increased their attacks against civilians, Afghan defence, and security forces.

In the past few weeks, Afghanistan has witnessed a surge in violence as the Taliban has intensified their offensive against civilians and Afghan security forces with the complete pullback of foreign forces just a few weeks away.

At risk journalists will be relocated

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said Afghan journalists who work for the British media will be allowed to relocate to the UK if they are under “imminent threat” from the Taliban.

Afghanistan
Afghan soldiers patrol with their military vehicles during an operation in Almar district of Faryab province, northern Afghanistan. (Xinhua_Azorda) (zjy_IANS)

In a letter to UK media organisations, Dominic Raab said cases would be considered “on an exceptional basis”, the BBC reported.

The news outlets in UK had earlier urged No 10 to treat Afghan journalists the same as the British Army’s Afghan interpreters. It comes as top Afghan media officer was killed by the Taliban on Friday.

Dawa Khan Menapal, the director of Afghanistan’s media and information centre, was shot dead as he was leaving a mosque in his car in the Afghan capital of Kabul. The Taliban said he had been “punished for his deeds”.

Meanwhile, the United States on Friday strongly condemned the assassination of Dawa Khan.

Speaking at the press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “On behalf of the government, I strongly condemn the assassination of Dawa Khan Menapal, the director of Afghan govt media information centre. His murder follows the bombing attack in Kabul earlier this week that targeted the acting Afghan Defence minister.”

Dawa Khan had served as head of the Afghan government’s media wing in Kandahar in 2015 and worked as deputy presidential spokesman from 2016 to 2020.

“If Tabilan claims to want international legitimacy, these actions are not going to get them the legitimacy they seek. They don’t have to stay on this trajectory. They could choose to devote the same energy to the peace process as they’re to their military campaign,” Psaki said.

“We strongly urge them to do so. This is what Afghan people so urgently need, deserve after decades of war. It is very much in Afghanistan’s neighbours interest to invest renewed energy into a peace process that promotes a peaceful Afghanistan and stable region,” she added. (ANI)

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