US warns Americans about potential ‘threats’ at Kabul airport

KABUL (Monitoring Desk): The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a security alert on Saturday cautioning Americans seeking to evacuate Afghanistan about going to the airport in the country’s capital, citing “potential security threats.”

“Because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport, we are advising U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates at this time unless you receive individual instructions from a U.S. government representative to do so,” the alert stated.

The embassy also advised Americans to be extra careful when they are in crowds and to follow directions from local authorities.

The State Department has repeatedly told Ame-ricans not to come to the airport unless the embassy contacts them, though the latest alert underscores the persisting security issues facing Americans and others as they seek to evacuate Afghanistan following the Taliban’s takeover.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told lawmakers on a call Friday afternoon that he was “aware” that Afghans and Americans who were trying to make their way to the airport in Kabul “have been harassed or even beaten by the Taliban.”

Austin’s remarks contrasted with President Biden’s comments earlier Friday at the White House, when he claimed “where we have seen challenges for Americans we have thus far been able to resolve them.”

“We have no indication that they haven’t been able to get in Kabul through the airport,” Biden asserted of Americans, despite reporting on the ground indicating chaos at Taliban checkpoints. “We’ve made an agreement with the Taliban. Thus far, they’ve allowed them to go through.”

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