Did US officials give Taliban a 'kill list'? Might have done 'naively', claims report

Published on Aug 27, 2021 09:48 PM IST

US President Joe Biden has not denied the existence of such a list, reports said. "There have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts," Biden said on Thursday after the blasts near Kabul airport.

A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the attacks, in Kabul airport on Friday.(AFP)
A Taliban fighter stands guard at the site of the attacks, in Kabul airport on Friday.(AFP)
By | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

A recent report by US-based Politico has revealed that US officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of names of American citizens, green card holders and Afghan allies in the country so that they can be easily evacuated. But after the blasts near the Kabul airport that have killed over 100 people, the naive list of names is being interpreted as 'kill list', as the Taliban are known to be vindictive against Afghans who help the United States. "Basically, they just pull all those Afghans on a kill list," a defence official told Politico on the condition of anonymity.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday did not deny any such list and said there may have been a list of names of vulnerable Afghans. "There have been occasions when our military has contacted their military counterparts in the Taliban and said this, for example, this bus is coming through with X number of people on it, made up of the following group of people. We want you to let that bus or that group through," he said. "So, yes there have been occasions like that. To the best of my knowledge, in those cases, the bulk of that has occurred and they have been let through.

Joe Biden to Kabul attackers: 'We will hunt you down and make you pay'

The Biden administration was relying on the Taliban for security outside the airport, though the Taliban said that the blasts took place in the area managed by US forces. The ISIS-Khorasan has claimed the responsibility for the deadly attack and said their target was US forces.

The Politico report said the list issue came up during a classified briefing on Capitol Hill this week and top Biden administration officials defended that close coordination with the Taliban was the best way to keep Americans and Afghans safe. “They had to do that because of the security situation the White House created by allowing the Taliban to control everything outside the airport,” one US official said.

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