More than 18,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan since the Taliban took over the capital.
A NATO (Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization) official said, that they are pledging to redouble evacuation efforts as criticism of the West's handling of the crisis intensified.
Image: People evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan heading to COVID-19 testing centre –Credit: REUTERS/Matthias Rietschel
Thousands of people, desperate to flee Afghanistan, were still flocking to the airport. The speed with which the Islamist militant Taliban conquered Afghanistan as U.S. and other foreign troops were completing their withdrawal surprised even their own leaders and has left power vacuums in many places.
The Taliban called for unity ahead of Friday prayers, the first since they seized power, calling on imams to persuade people not to leave Afghanistan amid the chaos at the airport, protests and reports of violence. Kabul has been largely calm, except in and around the airport where 12 people have been killed since Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.
Criticism of NATO and other Western powers has soared as images of the chaos and desperate fear of Taliban rule were shared around the world.
Biden is brushing off criticism of his administration's chaotic Afghan pull-out because he and his aides believe the political fall-out at home will be limited, according to White House allies and administration officials.
Several British officials remained on holiday as the Afghan debacle erupted, and Foreign Minister Dominic Raab has been fiercely criticised for his initial response to the unfolding crisis.