‘We are now in most hectic, dangerous, and sensitive phase,’ warns defense minister
BERLIN (AA) – The German defense minister Thursday warned of “massively intensified terror threat” around the Kabul airport in Afghanistan.
“We know the terror threats have intensified massively, that they have become much more specific,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told journalists in Berlin. “We are now in what is certainly the most hectic, dangerous, and sensitive phase.”
The evacuation mission of the German military is set to end shortly due to the imminent withdrawal of the US armed forces from the airport and the growing threat of terrorism.
The German military continued evacuations from Kabul on Thursday, while the German Embassy in the Afghan capital on Wednesday had warned people against going to the airport.
Kramp-Karrenbauer said they were working “feverishly” on continuing the evacuation, but had to take the terrorist threat into account.
“This is not an individual question for the Federal Republic of Germany, at the moment that is the situation for all other countries as well,” she said.
The minister stressed that efforts were underway to kick off “phase two” of the evacuation following the end of the German military deployment which would focus on using diplomatic channels to enable people to leave the war-stricken country.
German Army Inspector Gen. Eberhard Zorn said 5,200 people from 45 nations, including 4,200 Afghans and 505 German citizens, have now been flown out by the military.
Meanwhile, two helicopters, transported to Kabul for the evacuation operations, have been brought back to the German military hub for the Afghan evacuation in Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent.