Taliban say have taken control of sections of Kabul airport, Pentagon denies
The Taliban took control of sections of Kabul airport on Friday, Spokesman Bilal Karimi said.
“Today, three important locations in the military section of Kabul were evacuated by the Americans and are under the control of [the Taliban],” he tweeted.
“Now a very small part remains with the Americans.”
However, the Pentagon denied the Taliban's claim of having taken control of any operations at Kabul airport.
“They are not in charge of any of the gates, are not in charge of any of the airport operations. That is still under US military control,” Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said.
The opposing announcements come as the August 31 deadline for the US and its allies to complete evacuations looms in the horizon.
About 12,500 people were evacuated from Afghanistan on Thursday, raising the total number of evacuees amid the Taliban takeover of Kabul to roughly 105,000 since Aug. 14, the White House said on Friday.
The Taliban’s announcement comes a day after the deadly attack on Kabul airport which was claimed by ISIS and led to the deaths of dozens of people and injured scores more. The attack claimed the lives of 13 US servicemen and injured 18 others.
The Taliban said the attack occurred in an area where US forces are responsible for security and one of the group’s officials claimed the attack was due to the presence of foreign forces.
However, US officials told AFP that the Taliban requested an American diplomatic presence after the full withdrawal.