WORLD US embassy urges Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately

WORLD

US embassy urges Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately

CGTN

09:34, August 13, 2021

The United States embassy in Kabul on Thursday urged Americans to leave Afghanistan immediately as the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate.

Taliban militants are seen inside Ghazni city, eastern Afghanistan, August 12, 2021. (Photo: Xinhua)

"The U.S. embassy urges U.S. citizens to leave Afghanistan immediately using available commercial flight options," the embassy said in a statement.

"Given the security conditions and reduced staffing, the embassy's ability to assist U.S. citizens in Afghanistan is extremely limited even within Kabul."

The security alert followed a similar notice issued by the embassy on Saturday. It also came as Taliban militants captured Ghazni city, the capital of eastern Ghazni province, earlier in the day, bringing the number of provincial capitals captured by the insurgent group to 10 in less than a week.

The security situation in the war-torn country has been deteriorating since the withdrawal of U.S.-led troops starting on May 1. Many Afghan cities and about half of the country's 34 provinces in recent weeks have seen heavy battles and street fighting between Afghan forces and Taliban militants.

Two American officials spoke to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday and told him the U.S. "remains invested in the security and stability of Afghanistan" in the face of Taliban violence, according to the U.S. State Department.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told Ghani Washington was reducing its civilian footprint in Kabul given the "evolving security situation" and would increase the tempo of Special Immigration Visa flights for Afghans who helped the U.S. effort in the country, the statement said.

They also said the United States remains committed to maintaining a strong diplomatic and security relationship with the Afghan government, it said. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden also vowed continuous support to the Middle Eastern country, while noting that Afghan forces must "fight for themselves, fight for their nation."

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