Taliban promises security at Kabul airport but IS threats can't be ignored -Western diplomat

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A Canadian coalition forces member walks through an Evacuation Control Checkpoint (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 24, 2021. Staff Sgt. Victor Mancilla/U.S. Marine Corps/Handout via REUTERS

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Aug 26 (Reuters) - Taliban cadres have promised to provide security outside Kabul airport, but intelligence reports of an imminent threat from Islamic State militants cannot be ignored, a NATO country diplomat in the Afghan capital said on Thursday.

The diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, was referring to warnings by Australia and the United States to its citizens to vacate the area outside the airport immediately because of the reports. Thousands of people desperate to flee the country are gathered at the gates of the airport.

"Western forces, under no circumstances, want to be in a position to launch an offensive or a defensive attack against anyone in Afghanistan," the diplomat added. "Our mandate is to ensure evacuations end on Aug. 31."

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Reporting by Rupam Jain, Writing by Raju Gopalakrishnan; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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