In Afghanistan, anti-Taliban protesters defied their new rulers for a second day yesterday marking the Afghan Independence Day by attempting to hoist the red, green and black national banner.
The jarring, violent scenes marked the latest unrest as the Taliban sought to gain a firmer grip on a nation.
Some demonstrations were small, but combined with the desperate scramble of thousands of people seeking to flee the country they underline the challenge the Taliban face in governing.
Meanwhile, Taliban called on Afghanistan’s imams to urge unity when they hold their first Friday prayers since the Islamist group seized control of the country.
In Washington, the Pentagon said that since July it had flown 12,000 people out of the airport in the capital, including American diplomats, Afghans eligible for special visas because of their work on behalf of the US military and diplomatic missions, and others.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a briefing yesterday that only about 2,000 were airlifted out of Kabul in a dozen military flights in the last 24 hours.
He said all US citizens who have “expressed interest in leaving” Afghanistan were contacted by American diplomatic officials overnight and told to proceed to the airport – even though the US government has said it cannot guarantee safe passage.