LIVE: Afghanistan now emancipated, we seek no revenge, says Taliban

Topics Afghanistan | Taliban | US Army

Photo: Reuters
Afghanistan crisis LIVE updates: United States President Joe Biden said on Monday the mission of the United States in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation building as he defended his decision to pull out US troops from the country.

Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents entered Kabul on Sunday after virtually surrounding the city from all sides. Word of their arrival spread like wildfire, and the city panicked. There were traffic snarls everywhere, and people rushed home to stock up on essentials, withdrawing money from banks. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the afternoon, as most western nations evacuated their embassies, or relocated them closer to the airport.

It was not yet clear where Ghani was headed or how power would be transferred following the militant Islamist group’s lighting sweep across Afghanistan that led back to the capital two decades after it was overthrown by US-led forces.

Meanwhile, India is gearing up to evacuate hundreds of its officials and citizens from Kabul. It is learnt that a fleet of C-17 Globemaster military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force is kept on standby to undertake evacuation missions.

Stay tuned for latest news on Afghanistan Taliban crisis


Italy's premier vows to protect Afghans' rights

Italy's prime minister is vowing that Italy will remain committed to promoting and protecting fundamental rights in Afghanistan, especially of women, following the Taliban takeover and the evacuation of Western diplomats and military forces.
Italy, which holds the rotating presidency of the Group of 20 industrialized countries this year, is the natural forum to launch a process of collaboration among countries including China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, in addition to Europe, Premier Mario Draghi said.
In an interview with state-run RAI television, Draghi paid tribute to the 53 Italian soldiers killed and 700 injured during Italy's 20-year participation in the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and said Italy was looking to the future, not to the past.

EU suspends development payments to Afghan govt

The European Union is suspending payments of development assistance to Afghanistan now that it has fallen to the Taliban but is weighing whether to boost humanitarian aid to the conflict-ravaged country.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says there can be no payments of development assistance until we clarify the situation with Taliban leaders.

Speaking after chairing a meeting of EU foreign ministers Tuesday, Borrell said the Taliban must respect UN Security Council resolutions and human rights to earn access to the funds. Borrell says that humanitarian help will continue, and maybe we will have an increase, given the number of displaced Afghans, the ongoing drought, and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pak PM Khan meets political delegation of Afghan leaders; says committed to support inclusive govt

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday told an Afghan delegation, led by former vice president Muhammad Younas Qanooni, that Pakistan was committed to support an inclusive government in Afghanistan. The delegation of political leaders from Afghanistan arrived here on Sunday for talks amidst a whirlwind takeover of the country by the Taliban insurgents.
Khan's Office said in a statement that he underlined that no other country is more desirous of peace and stability in Afghanistan than Pakistan. He highlighted the importance of all sides working to secure an inclusive political solution, it said.
Khan assured of Pakistan's steadfast support for efforts to bring peace in Afghanistan but also added that in the current situation, great responsibility rested on the Afghan leaders to work constructively together to lead Afghanistan on the path of sustainable peace, stability and development, his office said.

EU ministers weigh Afghan security, migrant challenges

European Union foreign ministers held emergency talks Tuesday to weigh the security implications of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan amid concerns that a widespread fear of hardline Islamist rule will provoke an exodus from the conflict-ravaged country.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the meeting would focus on how to support each other to get EU citizens and local Afghan staffers out of the country, how to deal with the Taliban in the future and how to keep the region stable if people leave Afghanistan in big numbers.
We will watch the developments very closely, and those who are now executing power in Afghanistan will be judged by their action, Maas told reporters in Berlin. We will especially focus on the stability of the region. The neighboring countries will certainly be confronted with further refugee movements.

PM Modi chairs high-level meet on Afghan situation; directs refuge to Sikh, Hindus wanting to come to India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday directed officials to ensure safe evacuation of all Indian citizens from Afghanistan and to provide refuge to Sikhs and Hindus wanting to come to India from there, as he chaired a crucial high-level meeting in the backdrop of the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country, sources said.

Chairing a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security, Modi also said India must provide all possible help to its Afghan brothers and sisters who are looking towards India for assistance, official sources said.

Modi directed officials concerned to undertake all necessary measures to ensure safe evacuation of Indian nationals from Afghanistan in the coming days. The Cabinet Committee on Security is the apex government body that deals with the issues of national security.

Afghan students in India worried about families back home, seek help for stranded compatriots due to Covid

It has been sleepless nights and desperate efforts to contact their families back home for the thousands of Afghan students in educational institutions in various parts of India as they worry about the fate of their kin and country under the Taliban. Many have also appealed to the Indian government to help their compatriots, who had gone back home due to the COVID-19-induced closure of educational institutions, to return to India and to extend their visas.
Shukrullah Ahamadi (25), who is pursuing an MBA from a private university in Pune, said he has not spoken to his family in Afghanistan for the last three days, a period which saw the fall of Kabul.
"The situation back home is terrifying and scary. We never imagined such kind of a situation. In my hometown in Logar province, which is hardly 50 km from Kabul, the Internet and telephone services are completely shut and I am not able to connect with my family," he said.

Spokesman: Taliban to honor women's right within Islamic law

A Taliban spokesman has pledged to honor women's rights, but within the norms of Islamic law. Zabihullah Mujahid made the comment Tuesday at his first news conference. For years, he had been a shadowy figure issuing statements on behalf of the militants. His assertion that the Taliban would protect women's rights comes after the Taliban's earlier rule saw women's lives and rights severely restricted. (AP)

LIVE: Afghanistan now emancipated, we seek no revenge, says Taliban

LIVE: Afghanistan now emancipated, we seek no revenge, says Taliban

Govt says committed to safe return of all Indian nationals from Afghanistan

The main challenge for travel to and from Afghanistan is the operational status of Kabul airport, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday. "This has been discussed at high levels with our partners, including by our External Affairs Minister with the US Secretary of State. The government of India is committed to the safe return of all Indian nationals from Afghanistan and will institute flight arrangements once Kabul airport opens for commercial operations," it said. (PTI)

Taliban checks at Kabul airport hindering evacuation of Afghans: German foreign minister

Taliban checks at Kabul airport hindering evacuation of Afghans: German foreign minister

Taliban takeover in Afghanistan worries dry fruit traders in India

The Taliban takeover in Afghanistan has adversely impacted the import-export trade in India -- the largest beneficiary of Afghanistan's exports -- a development that has left traders, especially those importing dry fruits, worried. Afghan exports to India include dried raisins, walnut, almond, fig, pine nut, pistachios, dried apricot, and fresh fruits such as apricot, cherry, watermelon, and medicinal herbs. India's exports to Afghanistan include tea, coffee, pepper and cotton, toys, footwear, and various other consumable items, traders said. (IANS)

PM Modi chairs meeting in backdrop of Afghanistan situation: Sources

NATO chief blames Taliban takeover on 'failure of Afghan leadership'

NATO chief blames Taliban takeover on 'failure of Afghan leadership'

Jaishankar says embassy staff evacuation from Kabul was a difficult exercise

View: As the Taliban rise in Afghanistan, the liberal West crumbles

These are surreal times In Afghanistan. In a matter of hours, the old order had folded like nine pins and all that was left were the ruins of the last two decades.The new order is yet to emerge fully but the contours of that order can be discerned based on the past experience of the Afghan nation and the region. Read more

Indian embassy staff evacuation from Kabul completed in two phases: MEA

India exploring options to hire charter planes to evacuate more Indians from Afghanistan

India is also exploring options to hire charter planes to evacuate more Indians from Afghanistan, says report

India to wait and watch Taliban's conduct

India to wait and watch that how inclusive will be the government formation and how will the Taliban conduct, news agency ANI report

41 Keralites stranded in Kabul; state govt seeks Centre's intervention

The Kerala government on Tuesday said at least 41 Malayalis including women and children have been stranded in Taliban-controlled Kabul and requested the Centre to make necessary arrangements for their safe evacuation to the home country. In the wake of panic calls from the stranded people received at the Department of NORKA, the state-run welfare agency of non-resident Keralites, the government sent letters to the External Affairs Ministry seeking immediate steps for their repatriation. (PTI)

Taliban's initial assurances since Afghan takeover 'a positive signal': Russian foreign minister

Taliban's initial assurances since Afghan takeover 'a positive signal': Russian foreign minister

Germany halts development aid for Afghanistan: minister

Germany halts development aid for Afghanistan: minister

Situation in Kabul under Taliban 'better' than it was under Ghani govt: Russian envoy

Russia has said that the situation in Kabul under the Taliban is "better" than it was under the Ashraf Ghani-led Afghanistan government, according to a media report, signalling Moscow's apparent endorsement of the insurgent group and an attempt to establish ties with the outfit, still officially designated a terrorist organisation in the country. (PTI)

Afghan students studying in Punjab worried about families back home

Afghan students studying in educational institutions in Punjab are worried about their families back home after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. "We have been having sleepless nights for the last several days. Our families, although safe so far, are shaken and afraid of the turn of events taking place in the country," Noor Ali Noori, an Afghan student studying at Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, said on Tuesday. (PTI)

Situation grim in Afghanistan, says Indian envoy after returning from Kabul

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) successfully carried out a three-day evacuation mission to bring back 192 Indians stranded in what is now the Taliban controlled Afghanistan. Providing a sigh of relief to those stranded in Afghanistan, the Indian Air Force (IAF) plane C-17, Globemaster, carried more than 150 Indian nationals from the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul to Jamnagar on Tuesday. The aircraft evacuated several Indian Embassy officials working in Afghanistan. Read more

Australia will not be able to evacuate as many Afghans as it wants: PM

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says his government will not be able to evacuate as many Afghans from Kabul as he wanted. Australia is sending three transport and air-to-air refueling jets with 250 military personnel to repatriate more than 130 Australians and their families from Afghanistan. Australia also wants to evacuate hundreds of Afghans who had worked for Australian troops and diplomats in roles such as interpreters. (PTI)

Evacuation flights resume at Kabul airport

Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan resumed early on Tuesday after the runway at Kabul airport was cleared of thousands of people desperate to flee after the Taliban seized the capital. Read here

UK's Johnson wants to discuss Afghanistan with G7 as soon as possible

Prime Minister Boris Johnson intends to hold a virtual meeting of Group of Seven leaders at the earliest opportunity to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, his office said after the British leader spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday. "Both leaders resolved to use their bilateral and multilateral influence to encourage international partners to adopt a joined-up approach to the challenges ahead," Downing Street said in a statement after the two leaders spoke by phone.
"The Prime Minister also stressed the need to agree shared international standards on human rights that any future Taliban government in Afghanistan will be held to by the international community. (Reuters)

Facebook bans Taliban supporting content: report

Social media giant Facebook has said that it has banned the Taliban and all content supporting it from its platforms as it considers the group to be a terrorist organisation, according to a media report. The company says it has a dedicated team of Afghan experts to monitor and remove content linked to the insurgent group. (PTI)

Turkey says welcome 'positive messages' from Taliban in Afghanistan: Foreign minister

Turkey says welcome 'positive messages' from Taliban in Afghanistan: Foreign minister

IAF plane carrying 120 Indians from Afghanistan lands at Jamnagar airbase

An Indian Air Force plane with 120 people onboard landed on Tuesday at Jamnagar in Gujarat from Kabul in Afghanistan, an official said. The C-17 aircraft touched down at the IAF airbase at Jamnagar at 11.15 am, the official said. Read here

Taliban announces 'amnesty', urges women to join government

The Taliban announced Tuesday an amnesty across Afghanistan and urged women to join its government, trying to calm nerves across a nervous capital city that only the day before saw chaos at its airport as people tried to flee their rule. Read here

Facebook bans Taliban from accessing the services of the platform

5,000-plus Afghan students scared as motherland melts down in Taliban heat

An estimated 5,000-plus Afghan students, including around 1,800 girls, are shaken and deeply worried over their future in India as their motherland has apparently collapsed under the Taliban fury, watched with dazed horror by the world in the past few days.
Of the estimated 11,000-plus Afghan students studying in different colleges and universities across India, the largest chunk of around 5,000 are in Maharashtra alone.
"Around 3,000 are in Pune, some 700 in Mumbai and the rest scattered in different cities in the state," Afghan Students Association of Pune (ASAP) President Wali R. Rahmani told IANS.

Afghanistan LIVE: Taliban announces 'amnesty,' urges women to join government

A Taliban official has announced a general amnesty for all in Afghanistan and urged women to join its government.
Enamullah Samangani, member of Islamic Emirate's cultural commission, made the comments Tuesday on Afghan state television, which the militants now control.
The Islamic Emirate don't want women to be victims," he said, using the militants' term for Afghanistan.
He added: The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join.

IAF plane carrying 120 Indians from Afghanistan lands at Jamnagar airbase

An Indian Air Force plane with 120 people onboard landed on Tuesday at Jamnagar in Gujarat from Kabul in Afghanistan, an official said.
The C-17 aircraft touched down at the IAF airbase at Jamnagar at 11.15 am, the official said.
The aircraft had taken off from Kabul carrying Indian personnel as part of the emergency evacuation because of the prevailing situation in the Afghan capital following its takeover by the Taliban.

India strong and self-sufficient to face threat of cross border terrorism: Pralhad Joshi on Afghanistan crisis

Karnataka | India is quite strong and self-sufficient to contain the situation, also to face the threat of cross border terrorism: Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Pralhad Joshi on Afghanistan crisis

Uzbekistan says 'forced' 46 Afghan aircraft to land

Uzbekistan on Monday said that it "forced landing" of 46 Afghan aircraft crossing into its airspace as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
Citing a statement that was issued late Monday, Daily Sabah reported that according to officials, hundreds of Afghan soldiers fled to Uzbekistan with 22 military planes and 24 helicopters last weekend, including one aircraft that collided with an escorting Uzbek fighter jet, causing both to crash.
The Uzbek Ministry of Defense earlier also said an Afghan military jet had been shot down after crossing the border.

Indian A C-17 aircraft that took off from Kabul, Afghanistan with Indian officials, lands in Jamnagar, Gujarat

Indian Air Force C-17 aircraft that took off from Kabul, Afghanistan with Indian officials, lands in Jamnagar, Gujarat.

Biden skirts US failures in Afghan mayhem

President Joe Biden ignored his own administration's failures when he tried to explain why desperate civilians in Afghanistan's capital have been left stranded and in danger from the Taliban because of the swift U.S. departure.
While asserting the buck stops with me, Biden on Monday blamed Afghans in large measure for the chaotic evacuation at Kabul's airport and conceded no missteps.
A look at his remarks:
BIDEN: I know there are concerns about why we did not begin evacuating Afghan civilians sooner. Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier, still hopeful for their country. Part of it because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organizing a mass exodus to avoid triggering, as they said, a crisis of confidence.
THE FACTS: This is a misleading explanation that skirts the U.S. failure to anticipate and prepare for the rapid fall of the Afghan government.
While some Afghans may have wanted to stay in their country until the lightning Taliban takeover of the last several days plenty didn't. The United States as of last month had a visa application backlog of 18,000 Afghan translators and others who believed themselves to be in danger from the Taliban for their work with the Americans.

Afghan students in Karnataka worried about their future and family

Many Afghan students who are studying in Bengaluru and Dharwad are a worried lot following the Taliban asserting control over their home country.
"We are very much worried about our families (back home). The situation is very bad. I was not able to call them but when I spoke to them through internet, they said they are safe," Haroon, who is studying in a private college here, said.
Some other Afghan students, studying in the city, who wished not to be named, said they fear for their kin back home and worry about what lies ahead for them.

India announces new category of visa for Afghans

The Union Home Ministry on Tuesday announced a new category of visa to fast-tack the applications of Afghans who want to come to India in view of the prevailing situation in Afghanistan.
The announcement came two days after the Taliban captured power in Afghanistan.
"The MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called 'e-Emergency X-Misc Visa' introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India," a home ministry spokesperson said.

Afghanistan crisis: Doval, US NSA held talks last evening to coordinate Indian officials' evacuation

Afghanistan crisis: Doval, US NSA held talks last evening to coordinate Indian officials' evacuation

Prices of dry fruits increase in Jammu as imports from Afghanistan disrupted

"We import pistachio, almond, fig, dried apricots from Afghanistan. Import activity not running from last 15 days," Jyoti Gupta, president, Jammu Dry Fruit Retailers Association

Jaishankar arrives in New York, will chair signature Presidency events at UNSC, discuss Afghan situation

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who arrived here to chair two high-level signature events this week under India's current Security Council Presidency, has said that he expects to discuss the situation in Afghanistan during his engagements at the United Nations.
Jaishankar arrived on Monday as the Security Council held an emergency meeting on the situation in Afghanistan, the second time in just over the 10 days that the powerful UN body met under India's Presidency for the month of August to discuss the rapidly deteriorating and unraveling situation in the war-torn country.
Significant UN Security Council discussions today on developments in Afghanistan. Expressed the concerns of the international community. Expect to discuss these during my engagements at the UN, Jaishankar tweeted.
Jaishankar also discussed the "latest developments in Afghanistan with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and underlined the urgency of restoring airport operations in Kabul. Deeply appreciate the American efforts underway in this regard.

Editorial | Taliban 2.0 & its discontents: India should not be rushed into a response

The warp speed with which the Taliban reached Kabul and ousted the elected government of Afghanistan has wrong-footed most countries. As nations, including India, scramble to evacuate diplomatic and other personnel, the vital next step lies in crafting a credible response to the second term of this rogue regime. Aware perhaps of its less-than-salubrious international reputation, Taliban leaders have suggested that Taliban 2.0 is unlikely to operate in a diplomatic vacuum. Such moves may earn it grudging international legitimacy, but, realistically, prospects of a kinder gentler Taliban appear remote. Its brutal reassertion of Sharia law in the territories it has conquered does not indicate a major break from its past ideology or praxis. Read on...

Afghanistan latest news: Indian Ambassador in Kabul will return to India immediately

In view of the prevailing circumstances, Indian Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately: MEA Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi


Biden right to close Afghan war, but there was no need to leave in chaos: NYT Editorial

The rapid reconquest of the capital, Kabul, by the Taliban after two decades of a staggeringly expensive, bloody effort to establish a secular government with functioning security forces in Afghanistan is, above all, unutterably tragic.
Tragic because the American dream of being the “indispensable nation” in shaping a world where the values of civil rights, women’s empowerment and religious tolerance rule proved to be just that: a dream.
This longest of American wars was code-named first Operation Enduring Freedom and then Operation Freedom’s Sentinel. Yet after more than $2 trillion and at least 2,448 American service members’ lives lost in Afghanistan, it is difficult to see what of lasting significance has been achieved.
It is all the more tragic because of the certainty that many of the Afghans who worked with the American forces and bought into the dream--and especially the girls and women who had embraced a measure of equality--have been left to the mercy of a ruthless enemy. Read on...

Afghanistan’s Currency Drops to Record Low as Taliban Take Over

Afghanistan’s currency dropped to a record low as Taliban fighters took control of the capital and the central bank governor departed the country.
The Afghani fell 1.7% Tuesday to 83.5013 per dollar, the fourth day of decline, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The central bank was able to stabilize volatility in the currency until last Thursday, Governor Ajmal Ahmady wrote in a Twitter thread.
On Friday, it was told that there would be no more dollar shipments, and by Saturday the central bank had to supply less currency to the markets, which led to more panic, he wrote.

U.S., Taliban in Talks to End Airport Chaos: Afghanistan Update

Desperate scenes played out at Kabul’s international airport on Monday as thousands rushed to exit Afghanistan after Taliban fighters took control of the capital, with the Associated Press reporting at least seven people were killed in the melee.
With land borders now under the control of the militant group, the airport is the last remaining exit point and there are fears that option may close soon. Videos circulating on social media showed hundreds of people swarming the tarmac as countries including the U.S. seek to evacuate their diplomats and other nationals.
The panic in Afghanistan’s largest city reflects the Taliban’s rapid territorial advance, returning the fundamentalist group to power two decades after the U.S. military invaded and kicked it out.
President Joe Biden addressed Americans from the White House as criticism mounted over his handling of the crisis. Biden said the U.S. mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to be “nation building,” only protecting America from a terrorist attack.
Biden is following through on his predecessor Donald Trump’s push to withdraw the remaining U.S. troops stationed there.

Pakistan responsible for Taliban's return in Afghanistan, says expert

Afghanistan citizens are blaming Pakistan for the country's current situation as it gave shelter to the Taliban when its citizens were fighting the terrorist group, said Fabien Baussart, the President of Center of Political and Foreign Affairs.
Baussart in Times of Israel wrote that the areas in northwestern Pakistan were used by the Taliban to rearrange and resurrect following the assault by the United States and allied forces in 2001.
However, there have been angry reactions on social media blaming Pakistan and its spy agency Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) for the ongoing mess in Afghanistan.
"On Twitter, #sanctionPakistan trended soon after the Taliban announced victory. The hashtag was used 730,000 times and 37 per cent of the originated from Afghanistan," he said.

Never a good time to withdraw US forces: Biden

President Joe Biden has said he stood "squarely behind" his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. "After 20 years I've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That's why we're still there," he said in a televised speech at the White House. 

Several Indians in Afghanistan wanting to be repatriated to India are in a secure area, reports ANI

Several Indians in Afghanistan wanting to be repatriated to India are in a secure area and will be brought back home safely in a day or two, reports ANI

Kabul now safer than it was under the previous authorities:

Russia's ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said Taliban had made Kabul safer in the first 24 hours than it had been under the previous authorities: Reuters

Kabul now safer than it was under the previous authorities:

Russia's ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said Taliban had made Kabul safer in the first 24 hours than it had been under the previous authorities: Reuters

Kabul now safer than it was under the previous authorities:

Russia's ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov said Taliban had made Kabul safer in the first 24 hours than it had been under the previous authorities: Reuters

UNSC calls for 'immediate cessation' of hostilities, establishment of inclusive, united govt in Afghanistan

Expressing deep concerns over reported serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights abuses in Afghanistan, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has called for an immediate cessation of all hostilities and the establishment of a new government that is united, inclusive and representative. In a press statement, UNSC President TS Tirumurti said that the members of the Security Council called for an immediate end to the violence in Afghanistan, the restoration of security, civil and constitutional order.
UNSC members also called for urgent talks to resolve the current crisis of authority in the country and to arrive at a peaceful settlement through an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned process of national reconciliation.
The statement comes as UNSC held a meeting on Afghanistan on Monday morning under the Indian presidency. The meeting comes a day after Kabul fell to the Taliban and the terror group seizes control of the presidential palace.

Joe Biden says he stands 'squarely behind' Afghanistan decision

US President Joe Biden said on Monday that he stands "squarely behind" his decision to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan and that the government's collapse was quicker than anticipated. Speaking about the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, Biden said he faced a choice between an agreement to withdraw US forces or send thousands more US troops back in for a "third decade" of war.
Biden said he will not repeat the mistakes of the past.
Biden spoke after the planned withdrawal of American forces turned deadly at Kabul's airport as thousands tried to flee following the Taliban's swift takeover of the government.

My national security team and I have been closely monitoring situation in Afghanistan: Joe Biden

Our mission should be narrowly focused on counter-terrorism, not counter insurgency or nation-building: Biden

I've argued for many years that our mission should be narrowly focused on counter-terrorism, not counter insurgency or nation-building: US President Joe Biden

Only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains to prevent terrorist attack on American homeland: Biden

Our mission in Afghanistan was never supposed to be nation-building or to be creating a unified, centralised democracy. Our only vital national interest in Afghanistan remains today what it has always been preventing a terrorist attack on American homeland: US President Joe Biden

Today, the terrorist threat is metastasized, well beyond Afghanistan: US President Joe Biden

Today, the terrorist threat is metastasized, well beyond Afghanistan: US President Joe Biden

US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on Afghanistan

MEA sets up Afghanistan cell to coordinate repatriation

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has set up an 'Afghanistan Cell' to coordinate repatriation and related matters in the backdrop of the Taliban seizing control of the country. The announcement by MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi on setting up of the Cell came on Monday night hours after he said that India will facilitate the repatriation of Sikhs and Hindus who wish to leave the war-torn country.
"#MEA has set up a Special Afghanistan Cell to coordinate repatriation and other requests from Afghanistan," Bagchi said on Twitter.
He also put out the contact details to reach out to the Cell. (Phone number: +919717785379 Email: HYPERLINK ""
"We are in constant touch with the representatives of Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities. We will facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan," the MEA spokesperson said earlier in the day. "There are also a number of Afghans who have been our partners in the promotion of our mutual developmental, educational and people to people endeavours. We will stand by them," he said.

Security increased outside Afghan embassy in Delhi

The Delhi Police on Monday beefed up security outside the Afghan embassy in central Delhi's Chanakyapuri, a day after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. Several Afghan nationals visited the embassy. Some mediapersons too gathered outside it. "To manage them and keep the situation normal, security was increased outside the embassy. However, we have no threat inputs as of now, a senior police officer said.
Talking to reporters, Afghan national Farhan said, "I came here to renew my passport, but it could not happen... The situation in Afghanistan is very bad. My family and relatives are there and I am worried about them. The Taliban had killed my father.
Another Afghan national said his family lives in Kabul and that they all are worried after the Taliban takeover of the country. Afghanistan stared at an uncertain future with President Ashraf Ghani leaving the country just before Kabul fell into the hands of the Taliban on Sunday.

Afghan President Ghani fled Kabul in helicopter stuffed with cash: Russian media

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani allegedly fled the war-torn country aboard a helicopter stuffed with money but had to leave some cash on the airfield as it could not be squeezed into the chopper, according to Russian official media reports on Monday. Quoting Russian embassy in Kabul, Russian official news agency TASS reported that the 72-year-old President fled Afghanistan aboard a helicopter packed with money.
Heavily armed Taliban insurgents swept Kabul on Sunday after a sudden and unprecedented collapse of the US-backed Ghani government, prompting the president to join fellow citizens and foreigners to leave the country.
"As for the reasons for the collapse of the regime, they are characterised by how Ghani fled the country. Four cars were packed with money, and they tried to cram another bag of cash into the helicopter. Not all the cash managed to squeeze in, and some of the money was left lying on the airfield," a mission employee was quoted as saying by the report.

Uzbekistan says it downed Afghan military plane

An Afghan military plane was downed by Uzbekistan's air defense system on Sunday over an attempt to illegally enter the country's air space, Uzbek authorities said Monday. The downing took place in southeastern Uzbekistan, in the Surkhandarya region on the border with Afghanistan, AP reported.
A plane crash was first reported by local media. Uzbekistan's Defense Ministry initially said it was studying videos and reports of the crash, then confirmed the plane crash took place without offering any details. Only later Monday did officials revealed that the plane was downed.
Ministry officials told Russia's state RIA Novosti news agency that the country's air defense system averted an attempt by an Afghan military plane to illegally cross Uzbekistan's air border. It wasn't immediately clear what type of plane it was or how many people were on board.

'Not on the cards': UK Defence Secretary on whether British forces will return to Afghanistan

British Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace said on Monday that British forces will not be returning to Afghanistan after the Taliban seized the Afghan capital city of Kabul. Responding to a question by Sky News if Britain and NATO forces would return to Afghanistan, Wallace said, "That's not on the cards that we're going to go back," reported Xinhua.Wallace said Britain was doing everything it could to evacuate British nationals and Afghans with links to Britain.
"Our target is...about 1,200 to 1,500 exit a day in the capacity of our aeroplanes, and we'll keep that flow," he said.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that the US decision to pull out of Afghanistan has "accelerated things," reported Xinhua. The British parliament will be recalled on Wednesday from their summer recess to debate the British government's response to the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan.

ITBP to guard Indian diplomatic staff in Afghanistan till required

An armed contingent of paramilitary force Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is "actively" securing the diplomatic staff of the Indian embassy in Afghanistan's capital Kabul and will be there "till required", officials said on Monday as the Taliban took over the country.
The officials said the force personnel are among the last of the diplomatic staff of the embassy who are present in the country.
The security unit of the ITBP is actively securing the embassy staffers. They will carry out their duties till it is required, the officials said. They refused to divulge the strength of the people and the armed security personnel owing to the sensitivity of the fast-changing situation in Afghanistan. The ITBP was first deployed to secure the premises of the India embassy in Kabul, diplomats and staffers in November, 2002. It later sent additional detachments to guard the Indian consulates located in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif and Herat.

Afghanistan's neighbours would feel safer if there is zero-tolerance for terrorism: India's Ambassador to UN

US President Biden set to address the nation on Afghanistan tonight

US soldiers kill two armed men at Kabul airport

One evacuation flight returns to India from Kabul: report

Taliban takeover 'setback' for India; priority should be to evacuate citizens: Ex-Indian diplomats

Former Indian diplomats on Monday termed the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan as a "setback" for India strategically, and asserted that the priority for New Delhi right now should be to evacuate its citizens from the war-torn nation, PTI reported.

Taliban insurgents swept Kabul after the US-backed Afghan government collapsed and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday, bringing an unprecedented end to efforts made by the US and its allies to transform the war-ravaged nation in the last two decades.

Concerned over the developments in India's neighbourhood, several former diplomats underlined the need to evacuate citizens to ensure their safety.

Over 500 tonnes of aid sitting at border crossings taken over by Taliban: US Ambassador to UN

Representative of Afghanistan speaks at emergency UNSC meeting

UN chief urges Security Council to protect human rights

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the Security Council on Monday to "use all tools at its disposal to suppress the global terrorist threat in Afghanistan" and guarantee that basic human rights will be respected, Reuters reported.

"We are receiving chilling reports of severe restrictions on human rights throughout the country. I am particularly concerned by accounts of mounting human rights violations against the women and girls of Afghanistan," he told the 15-member council. "We cannot and must not abandon the people of Afghanistan," he said.

UN Secretary-General urges Taliban to exercise restraint to protect lives

Rush on Kabul airport as Afghans flee Taliban takeover

Afghans rushed onto the tarmac of the capital's airport on Monday as thousands tried to flee the country after the Taliban seized power with stunning speed. Some clung to the side of a US military transport plane before takeoff, in a widely shared video that captured the sense of desperation as America's 20-year war comes to a chaotic end, AP reported.

The Taliban swept into Kabul on Sunday after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, bringing an end to a two-decade campaign in which the US and its allies had tried to transform Afghanistan.

The country's Western-trained security forces collapsed or fled in the face of an insurgent offensive that tore through the country in just over a week, ahead of the planned withdrawal of the last American troops at the end of the month.

Awaiting resumption of flights from Kabul to restart repatriation efforts: MEA

Govt will ensure safety and security of Indian nationals in Afghanistan: MEA

Periodic advisories being issued calling for immediate return of Indian nationals: MEA spokesperson

US temporarily pauses Kabul evacuation flights to clear airfield

The United States has temporarily halted all evacuation flights from Kabul to clear people who had converged on the airfield, a U.S. defense official told Reuters on Monday. The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, did not say how long the pause would last.

India wants peace all over world: Lekhi over developments in Afghanistan

India wants peace all over the world, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Meenakshi Lekhi said on Monday over developments in neighbouring Afghanistan, PTI reported.

The newly-inducted minister of state was addressing mediapersons after taking part in 'Jan Ashirvad Yatra' in her constituency here.


EU foreign ministers to hold emergency talks on Afghan situation

European Union foreign ministers will hold emergency talks on Tuesday to discuss the crisis in Afghanistan, after the president fled and the Taliban seized control of the capital, Kabul, over the weekend, AP reported.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a tweet on Monday that he decided to convene the extraordinary video-conference so the ministers can make a first assessment of developments.

Need to review foreign policy regarding neighbouring nations: Pawar on Afghanistan crisis

With the Taliban taking over Afghanistan, NCP president and former Union minister Sharad Pawar on Monday underlined the need to review India's foreign policy concerning all the neighbouring countries, PTI reported.

"We should be alert and will have to take precautions in the long run. There was a time when except Pakistan and China, our relations with other neighbours were good," he told reporters when asked about the Afghanistan crisis.

Must evacuate 10,000 people from Afghanistan, Merkel tells party

Germany may need to evacuate as many as 10,000 people from Afghanistan, Chancellor Angela Merkel told party colleagues on Monday, according to party sources, reported Reuters. 
That includes 2,500 Afghan support staff as well as human rights activists, lawyers and others whom the government sees being at risk if they remain in the country after the Taliban seized Kabul. 
She also said that Germany should cooperate with countries bordering Afghanistan to support those fleeing from the country now.
"This topic will keep us busy for a very long time," she said, according to the party sources.

\Merkel says Germany must focus on its Afghan 'rescue mission'

Germany's focus must be on its evacuation operation in Afghanistan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told leaders of her Christian Democrat party on Monday, meeting participants said.
"We are witnessing difficult times," she said. "Now we must focus on the rescue mission."

9 Afghan students continuing online classes from there: IIT Bombay

MEA will make all arrangements for evacuation of Sikhs and Hindus, says Puri

China willing to develop 'friendly relations' with Taliban, says report

The AI-126 Chicago-Delhi flight that was diverted to Sharjah has landed

At least five killed at Kabul airport, says report

At least five people were killed in Kabul airport as hundreds of people tried to forcibly enter planes leaving the Afghan capital, witnesses told Reuters. One witness said he had seen the bodies of five people being taken to a vehicle. Another witness said it was not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede.
US troops, who are in charge of the airport, earlier fired in the air to scatter the crowd, an US official said.

Ashraf Ghani has done wrong with the Afghans: Abdul, an Afghan national living in Delhi

I've been living in India for the last 11 yrs now. Earlier, I was staying in Kabul where I used to be an eye doctor. Once Taliban had asked me to treat their people but I refused to help them. Ashraf Ghani has done wrong with the Afghans: Abdul, an Afghan national living in Delhi


UN Security Council to meet today to discuss Afghan situation

With Kabul falling into the hands of the Taliban, the UN Security Council under India's current Presidency will hold an emergency meeting on the situation in Afghanistan on Monday, the second time in just over a week.
The longstanding war in Afghanistan reached a watershed moment on Sunday when the Taliban insurgents closed in on Afghanistan's capital Kabul and entered the city and took over the presidential palace, forcing embattled President Ashraf Ghani to join fellow citizens and foreigners to leave the country.
UN Security Council to meet on Afghanistan. Indian Presidency will convene briefing and consultations on Afghanistan tomorrow 16th AugustUN Secretary-General @antonioguterres to brief UNSC," India's Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador T S Tirumurti tweeted.

Afghanistan latest news: Italy evacuates staff, Afghan workers from Kabul

Italy has evacuated 70 embassy staff and Afghan employees from the capital city of Kabul.
The plane was scheduled to arrive in Rome on Monday. Video taken at Kabul's international airport and released by the Italian Defence Ministry shows people walking up a mobile staircase to board the plane in darkness.
The evacuation is part of Italy's Operation Aquila Omnia (Eagle Ready for Anything) to quickly evacuate Italian diplomatic staff, citizens and Afghan employees and family members.
Italy had one of the largest contingents in Afghanistan before the pullout.

Urge MEA to arrange for immediate evacuation of all Indians, including around 200 Sikhs: Punjab CM

Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh urges External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar for "immediate evacuation of all Indians, including around 200 Sikhs, stuck in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover".

Afghanistan LIVE updates: Vistara's Delhi-London flights stop using Afghanistan airspace

Vistara's flights from Delhi to London have stopped using Afghanistan airspace as the country faces an uncertain future after Kabul fell into the hands of the Taliban on Sunday.
The Afghanistan airspace on Monday was declared "uncontrolled" by the Kabul airport and transit flights have been asked to avoid it.
Vistara spokesperson said on Monday, "We have stopped using Afghanistan airspace and are taking an alternate route for our flights to and from London Heathrow."
"We are closely working with the relevant authorities to monitor and assess the situation and taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of our passengers, staff and aircraft," the spokesperson added.

Aghanistan LIVE: Saudi embassy evacuated, New Zealand sends plane

Saudi Arabia says it has evacuated all its diplomats from its embassy in the Afghan capital, and New Zealand's government is sending a plane to help its people leave the country.
Saudi Arabia said all staff were evacuated from the embassy in Kabul on Sunday due to the changing conditions on the ground, joining other countries that have also shuttered their embassies as the Taliban advance on the Afghan capital.
New Zealand's government says its sending a C-130 Hercules military transport plane to Afghanistan to help with the evacuation of 53 New Zealanders and dozens of Afghanis and their immediate families who helped New Zealand troops when they were stationed there.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said they had so far identified 37 Afghanis who had helped, but the number of evacuees would be in the hundreds once dependents and others were included.

Temporarily closed embassy in Kabul: South Korea Foreign Ministry

South Korea's Foreign Ministry said it has temporarily closed its embassy in Kabul and evacuated most of its staff to an unspecified third country in the Middle East.
The ministry said a few diplomats, including Ambassador Choi Taeho, remain at a safe location in Afghanistan to support the evacuation of a South Korean national in the country and that the Seoul government is closely working with the United States and other countries to ensure their safe evacuation.
Afghanistan has been on South Korea's travel ban list since 2007. There were reportedly around five South Koreans living in Afghanistan before the Seoul government in June called for all of them to leave the country within 10 days as the United States and NATO proceeded with troop pullouts.

Air India's AI 126 Chicago-Delhi flight diverted to Gulf airspace due to the closure of Afghan airspace

Air India's AI 126 Chicago-Delhi flight diverted to Gulf airspace due to the closure of Afghan airspace

As Kabul falls, the burqa shops get busy and young women fear for future

As the Taliban entered the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday, university lecturers gathered their female students for some final goodbyes. Telling the shocked young women “we may not meet again,” the lecturers, along with everyone else, were evacuated, and the universities, along with schools, offices and shops, were shuttered.
I spoke by phone with Aisha Khurram, one of those students whose academic dreams have been cut short. There are thousands more like her. The 22-year-old is in the final semester of her international relations degree at Kabul University. With just two months left, she says, “now it seems I will never graduate.” Her monograph was on United Nations Security Council reforms and how they’ll affect special missions in countries like Afghanistan. Just one more thing the world will be deprived of now the Taliban are back in power. Read on...

Due to the closure of Afghan airspace flights can't operate: Air India

Due to the closure of Afghan airspace flights can't operate: Air India tells ANI.

Rashid Khan worried, he can't get his family out of Afghanistan, says Pietersen

Former England skipper Kevin Pietersen has revealed that spinner Rashid Khan is worried about the situation in Afghanistan and he is not able to get his family out of the country.
Flight operations from around the world are affected at Kabul's Hamid Karzai International (HKI) airport due to the ongoing turmoil in Afghanistan.
Rashid is currently in the UK playing for Trent Rockets in the inaugural edition of the Hundred.
"There's a lot of things that are happening at home. We had a long chat here on the boundary talking about it and he's worried: he can't get his family out of Afghanistan and there's a lot of things happening for him," Pietersen said on Sky Sports.
"For him to turn up and put on a performance like this under the pressure that he is currently under... for him to be able to forget that stuff and navigate his story and continue the momentum that he has - I think that's probably one of the most heart-warming stories of this Hundred so far," he added.

Afghan national Zara breaks down over the current situation in her country

Afghanistan crisis: After 20 years, we are back in the 2000s. We want peace..., says Aghan journalist

After 20 years, we are back in the 2000s. We want peace... If the Taliban takes over, there will be thousands of other Osama Bin Ladens, thousands of Mullah Omars... & they will unite with Pakistan, and go all over Central Asia: Hamdarf Gafoori, former Afghan journalist

Afghanistan LIVE updates: UK Parliament to be recalled over Afghan crisis

The UK Parliament will be recalled on Wednesday from their summer recess to debate the British government's response to the crisis in Afghanistan as Taliban has captured Kabul and entered the Presidential Palace, the House of Commons confirmed.
MPs will return to Westminster for a session from 9.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. over the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan amid the withdrawal of US, British and NATO troops, reports Xinhua news agency.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also held an emergency COBRA meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, Downing Street has said.
COBRA is shorthand for the Civil Contingencies Committee that is convened to handle matters of national emergency or major disruption.

'World must not look away as Taliban sexually enslaves women, girls'

Vrinda Narain, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism; Max Bell School of Public Policy, McGill University Toronto, Aug 16 (The Conversation) Since the withdrawal of American and NATO forces from Afghanistan in July, the Taliban have swiftly taken control of large parts of the country. The president has fled and the government has fallen. Emboldened by their success, lack of resistance by Afghan forces and minimal international pressure, the Taliban have intensified their violence. For Afghan women, their increasing power is terrifying. In early July, after Taliban leaders who took control of the provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar issued an order to local religious leaders to provide them with a list of girls over the age of 15 and widows under the age of 45 for marriage with Taliban fighters. It's not yet known whether they've complied. If these forced marriages take place, women and girls will be taken to Waziristan in Pakistan to be re-educated and converted to authentic Islam. This order has caused profound fear among women and their families living in these areas and forced them to flee and join the ranks of internally displaced persons, adding to the humanitarian disaster unfolding in Afghanistan. 

Taliban leader Mullah Baradar says our 'victory was unexpectedly swift'

Taliban deputy leader Mullah Baradar on Sunday said that the terror group's victory, which saw all of the country's major cities fall in a week, was unexpectedly swift and had no match in the world.
In a short video message, he said the real test would begin now with meeting the expectations of the people and serving them by resolving their problems, Al Jazeera reported.
Baradar's comments come hours after Taliban terrorists entered Kabul and wrested control over the capital of Afghanistan. They faced negligible resistance as Afghan forces surrendered and several government officials including President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Afghans fear return of sharia laws as Taliban declares 'war is over'

The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan was over after insurgents took control of the presidential palace in Kabul as U.S.-led forces departed and Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate their citizens.
President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Sunday as the Islamist militants entered the city, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed, while hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flooded Kabul airport.
"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban's political office, told Al Jazeera TV.
"Thanks to God, the war is over in the country." It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as Afghan forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away. Read on...

Afghanistan latest news: Hundreds of Afghans protest outside White House

People with ties to Afghanistan blamed President Joe Biden for betraying the people of the war-torn country and demand for sanctioning Pakistan as hundreds of people protested Sunday afternoon outside the White House.
The protests were after the presidential palace in Kabul was "handed over" to the Taliban, vacated just hours ago by government officials, including President Ashraf Ghani who has fled the country.

Afghanistan latest news: US to expand its security presence at Kabul airport to 6,000 troops

The United States has said that it would deploy as many as 6,000 of its troops at the Kabul airport to ensure safe departure of its citizens and those from its friends and allies from Afghanistan which has now been taken over by the Taliban, in a sudden an unprecedented collapse of the elected regime led by President Ashraf Ghani.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also made a series of calls to his counterparts of his key allies. India was not one of them.
Simultaneously more than 60 countries led by the United States and the European Union issued a joint statement urging those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan to bear responsibility and accountability for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order.

US to take over air traffic control at Kabul airport, boosts troop strength

The United States has announced that it will be taking over air traffic control at Kabul airport and will expand the country's security presence to nearly 6,000 troops to facilitate the safe departure of the American and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights.
In a joint statement on Sunday, the US Department of State and Department of Defence said the US will be transferring thousands of American citizens as well as locally employed staff of the US mission in Kabul and their families over the coming days.
The US has flown approximately 500 staff members from the US Embassy in Kabul out of Afghanistan today, a defence official told CNN. Read on...

US President Joe Biden's team surprised by rapid Taliban gains in Afghanistan

President Joe Biden and other top US officials were stunned on Sunday by the pace of the Taliban's nearly complete takeover of Afghanistan, as the planned withdrawal of American forces urgently became a mission to ensure a safe evacuation.
The speed of the Afghan government's collapse and the ensuing chaos posed the most serious test of Biden as commander in chief, and he was the subject of withering criticism from Republicans who said that he had failed. Read on...

Abdulhaq Azad, Press Secy to Afghan Embassy in India loses access to Twitter handle of Afghan Embassy India

Afghanistan crisis latest news: Afghan president Ghani says left to prevent 'flood of bloodshed'

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani has said he left the country in order to avoid "bloodshed" after the Taliban took over Kabul after nearly two decades of being ousted from power by a US-led invasion. Ghani left as the insurgents closed in on Afghanistan's capital before entering the city and taking over the presidential palace.

Afghanistan crisis: Over 60 nations urge Taliban to let foreign nationals, Afghans leave

Over 60 countries including the US, United Kingdom, Japan, Germany and Canada on Sunday (local time) urged "all parties" to safeguard the departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the war-torn country, and said that roads, airports and border crossing must remain open. Read on...

Afghanistan crisis: Donald Trump blames Joe Biden for Afghan crisis, seeks his resignation

Former US President Donald Trump called on his successor Joe Biden to step down after the Afghan government collapsed and the Taliban ceased control of Afghanistan's capital Kabul.
Trump, in a statement on Sunday, said that it was time for the incumbent US president, Joe Biden, to resign, "for what he has allowed happening in Afghanistan, along with the tremendous surge in Coronavirus (Covid-19), the Border catastrophe, the destruction of energy Independence, and our crippled economy."
The ex-US president went on to say that it "shouldn't be a big deal" since, according to Trump's version of events, Biden "wasn't elected legitimately in the first place!". Read on...

Afghanistan crisis latest news: Taliban seek 'open, inclusive' Islamic govt, says spokesman after Kabul falls

A Taliban spokesman and negotiator said told The Associated Press on Sunday that the militant group is holding talks aimed at forming an open, inclusive Islamic government in Afghanistan.
Suhail Shaheen spoke to the AP after the Taliban overran most of the country in a matter of days and pushed into the capital, Kabul, as the United States scrambled to withdraw diplomats and other civilians. Read on...

Working to secure orderly departure of foreign nationals & Afghans who wish to leave the country: USA

Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure & call on all parties to respect & facilitate, safe & orderly departure of foreign nationals & Afghans who wish to leave the country: Joint statement released by US Department of State

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