Several reports emerged this morning claiming that Taliban fighters captured more than 150 people, most of them Indians, from around Kabul airport in Afghanistan. Reacting to the reports, government sources said all Indians in Kabul are safe and that “authorities are in touch with them”.
“They were offered lunch and have now left for the Kabul airport,” government sources were quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
However, Ahmadullah Waseq, one of the Taliban spokesperson, has rejected these reports claiming the abduction of around 150 Indian citizens from Kabul.
The spokesperson said members of the group were present near the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul and would not allow people to enter the airport.
The Indian government said all Indian nationals were safe and authorities were in touch with them. Indian government sources said a team of officials was already in Kabul to help facilitate the safe return of Indian citizens stranded outside the airport.
Many Afghan journalists claimed that over 100-150 Indians were kidnapped by the Taliban from outside the Kabul airport. Minutes after these reports surfaced on social media, local journalists said all the Indians were safe and will be moved back to the Kabul airport. They said the Indians were rounded up by the Taliban and taken somewhere for checks.
Meanwhile, there is no official confirmation yet from the Indian government or US/NATO forces on the ground. However, the Indian government is closely monitoring the situation.
A source said that Taliban affiliates had taken more than 150 people, most of them Indian nationals, from near Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
The source said further that these people included a number of Afghan citizens and Afghan Sikhs, but most of them were ordinary Indian citizens. The source along with his wife, however, managed to escape.
They had gone to the airport in eight caster-type vehicles at 1:00 am today, but could not enter the airport due to lack of coordination.
According to the source, several unarmed Taliban members came to their side and, after beating them, took them all to Tarakhil in Kabul.
The source said that he and his wife threw themselves out of the car on the way and managed to escape. He added that only a few others were able to escape, but did not know the fate of the others.
According to him, the Taliban told the men that they were being taken to the airport through another gate, but it was not yet clear if they had been taken inside the airport or transferred to another location.