A further seven Afghan civilians have been killed in the chaos around Kabul’s international airport, Britain’s military says.
The deaths come as a new, perceived threat from the Islamic State group affiliate in Afghanistan has seen US military planes do rapid, diving combat landings at the airport surrounded by Taliban fighters.
Other aircraft have shot off flares on take-off, an effort to confuse possible heat-seeking missiles targeting the planes.
The changes come as the US Embassy issued a new security warning on Saturday telling citizens not to travel to the Kabul airport without individual instruction from a US government representative.
Officials declined to provide more specifics about the IS threat but described it as significant.
They said there have been no confirmed attacks as yet by the militants, who have battled the Taliban in the past.
As Taliban's senior officials gather in Kabul for talks with elders and politicians on forming a government, @AFP looks at what is known about the inner workings and leadership of the group, long shrouded in secrecy https://t.co/ZvIq4dL3iG pic.twitter.com/D22VvbyKYr
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) August 22, 2021
On Sunday, the British military acknowledged the seven deaths of civilians in the crowds in Kabul.
There have been stampedes and crushing injuries in the crowds, especially as Taliban fighters fire into the air to drive away those desperate to get on any flight out of the country.
“Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.