DFA raises Alert Level 4 in Afghanistan; advises Filipinos to prepare for evacuation


Posted at Aug 15 2021 11:34 PM | Updated as of Aug 16 2021 12:18 AM

Taliban forces patrol a street in Herat, Afghanistan
Taliban forces patrol a street in Herat, Afghanistan August 14, 2021. Reuters

MANILA - The Department of Foreign Affairs issued Alert Level 4 in Afghanistan after the Taliban captured key cities, including the capital of Kabul.

In a statement, the DFA said that under this alert level, the Philippine government will undertake the mandatory evacuation of all Filipinos in the area.

"Alert Level 4 is raised when there is a large-scale internal conflict or full-blown external attack. Under this Alert Level, the Philippine Government undertakes the mandatory evacuation of all Filipinos in the area," it said.

There around 130 Filipinos in Afghanistan, the DFA said.

The Philippine Embassy in Pakistan, which has jurisdiction over Afghanistan, is coordinating with the DFA for the repatriation of the remaining Filipinos in the country.

Any Filipino in distress can contact the Philippine Embassy in Islamabad through +923335244762 (Viber/Whatsapp); Messenger/Facebook at https://facebook.com/atnofficers.islamabadpe or https://facebook.com/OFWHelpPH; or through isbpeatn@gmail.com.

Taliban insurgents entered Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Sunday, an interior ministry official said, as the United States evacuated diplomats from its embassy by helicopter.

The senior official told Reuters the Taliban were coming in "from all sides" but gave no further details.

There were no reports of fighting. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement that the group was in talks with the government for a peaceful surrender of Kabul.

The entry into the capital caps a lightning advance by the Islamist militants, who were ousted 20 years ago by the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks. The collapse of the Afghan government defense has stunned diplomats - just last week, a US intelligence estimate said Kabul could hold out for at least three months.

US officials said diplomats were being ferried by helicopter to the airport from its embassy in the fortified Wazir Akbar Khan district. More American troops were being sent to help in the evacuations after the Taliban's lightning advances brought the Islamist group to Kabul in a matter of days.


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