The Taliban will not agree to an extension of the evacuation mission from Afghanistan, a spokesman for the group told British news channel Sky News.
The move would mean “extending occupation” and that is “a red line”, Suhail Shaheen, a member of the Taliban delegation in Doha, the capital of Qatar, said on Monday.
US President Joe Biden said on Sunday that the “hard and painful” airlift of Americans and tens of thousands of others from Afghanistan’s capital is accelerating, but he would not rule out extending it beyond the August 31 deadline he set before the Taliban’s swift takeover.
The airport has been in the scene of chaos since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on August 15 as US and international forces try to evacuate citizens and vulnerable Afghans. A NATO official has said that at least 20 people have died in and around the airport in the past week.
An Afghan security guard has been killed in a firefight between unknown gunmen and Afghan forces at the north gate of Kabul airport, the German military said, as thousands thronged the airport, seeking to flee Taliban rule.
Three more people were injured in the gun battle on Monday morning that has also involved German and the United States forces, the German military said on Twitter.