The situation on the ground in Kabul is worsening, with the Taliban tightening their grip on the Afghan capital and deploying gangs to round up women and ex-security officials – threatening the British exit strategy.
Despite the terrorist organisation trying to give off a more modern persona in terms of women's rights, people's worse fears are reportedly being realised as rape gangs are said to be roaming the streets for women, and children as young as 12.
Local Imams are said to have been ordered to hand over lists of unmarried women and girls by Taliban fighters, with a view to force marrying local females.
Sickeningly, the victims are dubbed “qhanimat” meaning “spoils of war", writes The Mirror.
Horrifying accounts from refugees flooding into Kabul told how fighters in the countryside had ordered them to hand over their women companions who were then raped.
This is despite the new Taliban leadership that swept to power saying it would not seek revenge against those who had fought against it and would protect the rights of Afghan women "within the rules of Sharia law," according to Zabihullah Mujahid, the group's spokesman.
In total, the UK hopes to help 6,000 to 7,000 British nationals and eligible Afghan staff to leave the country via Kabul.
But, Britain's senior officer heading the Kabul evacuation has admitted that it's possible that not everyone will make it out.
Vice Admiral Ben Key said the rescue bid is totally down to “consent” from the Taliban who could stop the dramatic evacuation at any time because they are in charge.
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It means the evacuation effort may be abandoned if violence and the threat towards troops at the Kabul airport brings the operation to a tragic halt.
He admitted from his UK HQ: “We may find that, as the defence secretary made clear, that the security situation on the ground may make it untenable to continue to evacuate.”
It came as the Mirror learned the Taliban hunted down and rounded up local ex-security guards in Kabul, whisking them away at gunpoint.
Vice Admiral Key admitted the Taliban are in charge of “security” and that the fate of many stranded Brits and Afghan would-be evacuees is in the extremist’s hands.
The senior navy officer in charge of the rescue of 6,000 Brits, Afghan helpers and dual nationals also admitted his team has not been told what ceasefire deal the US has struck with the Taliban.
That means it is now possible that some Brits and Afghans loyal to British troops will have to be left behind if the Taliban turn on troops manning Kabul’s airport.
Speaking from UK Permanent Joint HQ in Northwood, Vice Admiral Key said his team was “recognising that the Taliban are providing the security tapestry throughout Kabul and it’s a question of how long they continue to allow us to do so.”
Referring to the Taliban, he added: “Currently they are respecting the agreement they have with the United States allowing us to go about our business but we have to be pragmatic and honest.
“The Taliban are controlling how and what we can achieve and at some point they may remove their consent.
“As long as we are withdrawing they are happy for us to go about our business.”
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Asked about the ceasefire deadline deal struck between the Taliban and the US Admiral Key admitted: “Currently we are not party to the detail of those discussions.
“In my mind we are working to 31 August because that was the date Biden made clear.”
But he said he had “no idea what credibility” that agreement still has.
Many Kabul Afghans who worked in the security business with western organisations are also thought to be on the hit list of the Taliban.
A British source told the The Mirror: “It is heartbreaking – these were people dedicated to the future of Afghanistan and they believed in it.
“I don’t believe there is much chance they will survive.”
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