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US and allies warn of ‘high’ terror threat at Kabul airport

The United States has warned crowds trying to access Kabul airport to leave the area, as Britain, Australia and New Zealand join in the call to highlight the ‘high threat’ of a terrorist attack.

All four countries asked that people no longer attempt to travel to the airport, with travel warnings from London, Wellington, Canberra and Washington urging people gathered in the area to vacate and move to a safe location.

Citing ‘unspecific security threats, a US State Department warning was detailed in encouraging ‘those at the Abbey Gate, East Gate, or North Gate now should leave immediately’.

On the evening on 25 August, the UK Foreign Office urged people not to travel to the airport, saying: “There is an ongoing and high threat of terrorist attack. Do not travel to Kabul Hamid Karzai international airport. If you are in the area of the airport, move away to a safe location and await further advice.”

It added that ‘if you can leave Afghanistan safely by other means, you should do so immediately’.

In a briefing to MPs, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace signalled that there were few places left on British rescue flights, which have evacuated more than 11,000 people from Kabul since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan less than two weeks ago. He said that Afghans who want to flee to the UK may be better off “trying to get to the border” than awaiting RAF evacuation.

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