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Reports of 150 Indians Being Kidnapped by Taliban Near Kabul Airport False

Reports of 150 Indians Being Kidnapped by Taliban Near Kabul Airport False

Reports stating that around 150 Indians have been kidnapped by Taliban near Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport are false, . Some media houses had earlier on Saturday said that Indians had been taken away by the insurgents. Ahmadullah Waseq, one of the Taliban spokespersons, however rejected the claim.

This came as Centre has been trying to evacuate its citizens from Afghanistan. On Saturday, an Indian Air Force plane flew off from Kabul airport on Saturday.

Afghanistan has been witnessing a series of terror attacks since the United States began withdrawing its troops from the country on May 1. The US has already pulled back the majority of its forces and is looking to complete the drawdown by August 31, ending nearly two decades of its military presence in Afghanistan.

The Taliban was evicted from power by the US-led forces in 2001. Now, with the US pulling its troops back, the Taliban have taken positions in Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has left for an unknown destination.

“The security situation in Kabul has deteriorated significantly in the last few days. It is changing rapidly even as we speak,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

He said there are a number of Afghans who have been India’s partners in the promotion of mutual developmental, educational and people-to-people endeavours and India will stand by them.

Amid the worsening situation, the Centre has introduced a new category of electronic visa ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ to fast-track applications for entry into India. Sources told News18 that Afghans were earlier not covered under the category and had to physically present themselves in the embassy. But now, given the situation in Kabul where embassy is also shut — the decision to open e-visa has been taken.

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