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India asks nationals to leave Afghanistan before commercial flights stop as Taliban onslaught intensifies

ANI | Updated: Aug 10, 2021 18:47 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], August 10 (ANI): India on Tuesday asked its nationals to immediately leave Afghanistan by making arrangements to return home before commercial flight services are discontinued due to an ongoing offensive in the war-torn country by the Taliban, which has announced that it is moving to capture Mazar-i-Sharif city.
In a security advisory">advisory for Indian nationals in Afghanistan, the country's embassy here said that commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are being discontinued.
The embassy also advised Indian companies operating in Afghanistan to immediately withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites before air travel services get discontinued.
"As violence in many parts of Afghanistan has escalated, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are getting discontinued. All Indian nationals visiting, staying and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights from various parts of Afghanistan and make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial air services are discontinued to their place of stay/visit in Afghanistan," the advisory">advisory read.
"Indian companies operating in Afghanistan are strongly advised to immediately withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites in Afghanistan before air travel services get discontinued. Indian nationals working for Afghan or foreign companies in Afghanistan should immediately request their employer to facilitate their travel from project sites to India," it added.
The embassy said that it is very essential that all Indian media persons arriving and staying in Afghanistan establish contact with the Public Affairs and Security Wing of the Indian Embassy for a personalised briefing, including specific advice for the location they are travelling to.

"This will help media persons make a better assessment of the risks involved, given the rapid changes in security situation taking place in different parts of the country," the embassy said.
The security situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate as the Taliban have intensified their onslaught against Afghan security forces members and civilians amid the drawdown of the US-led foreign forces.
The Indian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif earlier today asked Indian nationals to evacuate from places in and around Mazar-e-Sharif in Balkh province.
"A special flight is leaving from Mazar-e-Sharif to New Delhi. Any Indian nationals in and around Mazar-e-Sharif are requested to leave for India in the special flight scheduled to depart late today evening," the Indian Consulate General in Mazar-e-Sharif said.
The Taliban on Monday captured another provincial capital in the North, Aybak city, reportedly without any resistance by the Afghan defense forces.
Further, the Taliban have intensified assaults on the capitals of Balkh (Mazar-e-Sharif); Baghlan (Pul-e-Khumri); Badakhshan (Faizabad) and Farah (Farah). Separately, clashes continued in Lashkar Gah, Kandahar and Herat cities.
Last month, some staff of the Indian embassy in Kandahar were evacuated due to deteriorating security situation in the province. Earlier, India had hinted that it will bring back its nationals and officials from Afghanistan if the security situation worsens as the Taliban continues to advance and capture more provinces. (ANI)