A Taliban spokesman on Tuesday said the United States must stop evacuating skilled Afghans, and warned Western forces against extending the August 31 deadline for airlifts out of the country.
The hardline Islamist group said Americans are bringing “Afghan experts” such as engineers out of Afghanistan.
“We ask them to stop this process,” spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said at a news conference in Kabul.
The top Taliban spokesman made a series of demands on a live broadcast on Tuesday, as US-led forces stepped up operations to get thousands of people out of Kabul.
The spokesman reiterated the group’s earlier announcement that the Taliban would not allow the US to extend next week’s deadline for a full withdrawal.
“They have planes, they have the airport, they should get their citizens and contractors out of here,” Mujahid said.
President Joe Biden has said he hopes to meet the August 31 deadline he set to withdraw US troops, but he is under pressure from European allies and Britain to exceed the date.
According to the US government, about 50,000 foreigners and Afghans have fled the country from Kabul airport since the Taliban took power nine days ago.
Many Afghans fear a repeat of the brutal interpretation of Sharia law that the Taliban implemented when they first came to power from 1996-2001, and retaliation for working with the US-backed government over the past two decades.
The Taliban, which ended two decades of war with an astonishingly rapid defeat of government forces, were publicly tolerant of the evacuation efforts.
(This story was not edited by NewsMadura staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)