Taliban checks at Kabul airport are making it more difficult to evacuate Afghans who worked for western forces, the German foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said on Tuesday as international forces scrambled to get people out of the country, AFP reports.
“The situation is much more dangerous (for Afghans) because there is no promise of being let through at the Taliban checkpoints,” AFP reported Maas saying ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
He added that German and US forces were working to grant them safe access to the airport, which was mobbed by thousands of panicked people trying to escape on Monday after the Taliban seized control of the country.
According to a government report seen by AFP on Tuesday, the situation has calmed down since the Taliban set up security posts around the airport.
This is making it easier for international forces to evacuate their nationals but “the closure of the airport to Afghan nationals is making it more difficult to evacuate former Afghan local staff”, the document said.
Speaking in Berlin on Tuesday, theGerman chancellor, Angela Merkel, said the big question over the next few days would be “above all, how many can reach the airport in Kabul”.
Berlin estimates that 2,500 local employees who worked with German troops or at the embassy, as well as their family members, need to be evacuated from the country.
Another 2,000 Afghans, such as human rights activists or employees of non-governmental organisations, also need to be brought out of the country. The number swells to 10,000 if their family members are included.