Taliban again rule Afghanistan

This item appears on page 5 of the October 2021 issue.

After the US began pulling troops out of Afghanistan in early July, Taliban forces quickly took over large sections of the country, culminating in their taking control of the capital, Kabul, on Aug. 17 with little resistance. The US negotiated an evacuation date of Aug. 31 with the Taliban and completed evacuating all military personnel by that date. Thousands of US citizens were also evacuated; however, a spokesperson for the US government said that some US citizens remained, numbering “in the hundreds.”

US and allied countries also attempted to evacuate Afghan collaborators and civilians out of the Kabul airport. Injuries and deaths were reported as Afghans tried to cling to the sides of departing aircraft in desperation. Though the Taliban agreed to allow evacuations, there were reports that Taliban forces prevented Afghan civilians from entering the airport, sometimes violently.

On Aug. 26, a suicide bombing occurred at a US-controlled entrance to the airport, killing as many as 170 people, including 13 US soldiers, and injuring more than 150. A group allied with Daesh (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban, which does not support Daesh, condemned the bombing.