Taliban condemns U.S. drone attack

The Taliban condemned the US drone strike against ISIL fighters following Thursday’s suicide attack outside Kabul airport, with a spokesman describing the operation as a “clear attack on Afghan territory”.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid [File: Rahmat Gul/AP Photo]

Zabihullah Mujahid said the Taliban expected to take full control of Kabul airport very shortly, once US forces leave, and would announce a full cabinet in the coming days, Reuters news agency reported.

He said officials had already been appointed to run key institutions, including the ministries of public health and education and the central bank. He also said he expected the serious economic turbulence which has hit the Afghani currency to ease soon.

US troops have begun their withdrawal from Kabul airport, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

At the briefing, US Army Major General William Taylor said two ISIS-K planners were killed and another wounded in Friday’s drone strike in Nangarhar province, eastern Afghanistan.

UK’s Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter has called the country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan “heartbreaking”.

A Royal Air Force plane carrying UK diplomatic staff and soldiers landed at the RAF Brize Norton airbase northwest of London early on Saturday morning. Flights bringing UK citizens and Afghan civilians from the Afghan capital have largely ended.

Carter, Britain’s top military officer, expressed regret that the UK had not been able to evacuate all of the Afghans who had aided British forces over the years.