At the US embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, remaining personnel have begun destroying confidential documents that the Taliban could later use. AFP says this based on an internal note. The aim is to prevent the Taliban from being unable to use the documents for propaganda purposes in the event of a complete takeover of the country.
The Taliban have continued their advance in Afghanistan and have already overrun more than half of all provincial cities, including the country’s second and third largest cities, Kandahar and Herat. Of the major cities, only Mazar-i-Sharif and the capital Kabul itself are still in the hands of the government army.
The extremist Sunnis are expected to be at the gates of Kabul in a few weeks and possibly even days. Several countries have started the evacuation of embassy personnel and Afghans who have assisted them in recent years, such as interpreters.
Also, for their safety, the destruction of documents has now started. Thousands of papers are now being thrown into the incinerator and shredder in the US embassy.
An internal note asks that all documents bearing the embassy logo, the American flag, and “other documents that could be used for propaganda purposes” be destroyed. According to a spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this is a “standard procedure” when scaling down the diplomatic presence in a country.
President Joe Biden, meanwhile, stands by his decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan this spring. Since then, the Taliban have been on an unstoppable advance. The United States has sent as many as 3,000 soldiers to the Kabul airport in recent days to assist the evacuation of Westerners.