UPDATE ON AUG 21, 02:44 PM IST
Media reports claimed that as many as 150 people have been kidnapped by the Taliban in Kabul.
As the evacuation process is underway in Afghanistan, several media reports on Saturday (August 21, 2021) claimed that as many as 150 people have been kidnapped by the Taliban in Kabul including Indian citizens. The people who have been kidnapped were reportedly awaiting evacuation from the war-torn country.
However, according to the latest reports, they have been released now.
Meanwhile, a Taliban spokesman has reportedly refuted the claims about any kidnapping.
The reports had also said that the Taliban insurgents had kidnapped an Indian coordinator who was in Kabul to help in the evacuation of the people from Afghanistan. As per an eyewitness, the Taliban insurgents asked Zohib for his id card and snatched his mobile phone and slapped him after knowing his identity.
Meanwhile, around 85 Indian nationals were evacuated on Saturday from Kabul by a transport military aircraft of the Indian Air Force. The aircraft landed at Dushanbe in Tajikistan after evacuating the Indians and is expected to arrive at the Hindon airbase near Delhi in the evening.
India, notably, has already evacuated 200 people, including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul, in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF.
As per a few reports, the total number of Indians stranded in Afghanistan could be around 400. Earlier on August 17, the Ministry of External Affairs had said that their immediate priority is to obtain accurate information about all Indian nationals currently in Afghanistan. They had also requested Indian nationals to share the relevant details with MEA’s Special Afghanistan Cell at +91-11-49016783, +91-11-49016784, +91-11-49016785, or WhatsApp: +91 80106 11290 or email: SituationRoom@mea.gov.in.
The situation in Afghanistan has worsened since the Taliban took control of Kabul in the backdrop of the withdrawal of the US troops after over two decades.