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Afghanistan evacuation

A NATO official says more than 18,000 people have been evacuated from Kabul airport since the Taliban took over Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday. The official said the majority of the evacuees are diplomats, foreign nationals and military personnel. At the same time, people desperate to flee continue to throng outside the airport. That’s according to the same NATO official who declined to be named. NATO and US troops have secured Karzai International Airport and cleared the runway after chaotic scenes at the weekend. Twelve people have been killed in and around Kabul airport since Sunday. The Taliban are blocking Afghans without travel documents from entering the airport. But even those with valid papers have struggled to get there, with reports saying some have been beaten by Taliban guards.

US Cuba sanctions

The United States has imposed fresh sanctions against Cuba, citing alleged human rights abuses and detention of protesters. The sanctions target two top defense ministry officials as well as an interior ministry official in charge of prisons in Cuba. The measures freeze any property they have in the United States and block Americans from doing business with them. The new sanctions are the fourth round of measures Washington has taken against Cuban officials and entities in recent weeks. Cuba was the scene of protests in July over an ongoing economic crisis. Havana blames the crisis on Washington’s embargo and sanctions in place for decades now. 

Tigray 'hellish' conditions

The UN chief has called humanitarian conditions in Ethiopia hellish, as a conflict in the northern region of Tigray drags on and spreads to other parts of the country. Antonio Guterres urged an immediate ceasefire and unrestricted aid access in Tigray where millions need help. He said it is time for all parties to recognize that there is no military solution. Guterres said preserving the unity and stability of Ethiopia is critical to the region and beyond. Ethiopian government troops and forces loyal to Tigray’s leaders have been in war for the control of the region since November last year. Thousands have already been killed and many more displaced. The conflict has escalated in recent weeks and spread to two neighboring regions of Afar and Amhara. 


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