Government advises against travel to Afghanistan due to 'worsening security situation'

6 August 2021, 20:23 | Updated: 6 August 2021, 20:29

Violence in Afghanistan has intensified over recent weeks
Violence in Afghanistan has intensified over recent weeks. Picture: Alamy Live News

By Daisy Stephens

The Government is advising all UK nationals in Afghanistan to leave the country because of the "worsening security situation".

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's website was updated on Friday, advising against all travel to the country.

The website says: "All British nationals in Afghanistan are advised to leave now by commercial means. If you are still in Afghanistan, you are advised to leave now by commercial means because of the worsening security situation.

"The level of consular assistance the British Embassy can provide in Afghanistan is extremely limited, including in a crisis. Do not rely on the FCDO being able to evacuate you from Afghanistan in an emergency.

"In arranging your departure from Afghanistan, ensure your travel documents are up to date and that you have the necessary visas for onward travel."

It added: "Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Afghanistan. Specific methods of attack are evolving and increasing in sophistication.

"You should note an overall increased threat to Western interests in Kabul. Follow the instructions of local authorities. There is a high threat of kidnapping throughout the country."

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Afghanistan was already on the Government's travel red list because of the country's coronavirus situation.

Daily cases are declining in the country, but according to the World Health Organisation (WHO) a further 449 infections were reported on Friday, taking the total to 149,810.

The Afghan air force carried out more airstrikes against Taliban positions in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, as the insurgent force made additional gains in the country's north.

The European Union, United Nations and Human Rights Watch urged both sides to avoid causing civilian casualties as the fighting rages on.

The Taliban has been on the offensive in recent months, as US and Nato forces complete their pullout from the war-torn country. They have taken vast swathes of land and have now turned their guns on larger urban centres.

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The Taliban onslaught seems to have intensified with the start of the final withdrawal of US and Nato troops, causing Afghan security forces and government troops to retaliate with increasing air strikes, aided by the United States. This has raised growing concerns about civilian casualties across the country.

"We can tell you that we are deeply concerned about the safety and protection of people in Lashkar Gah, in the south, where tens of thousands of people could be trapped by fighting," Stephane Dujarric, the United Nations spokesman said on Wednesday.

He added: "We, along with our humanitarian partners in Afghanistan, are assessing needs and responding in the south, as access allows."