US Embassy officials destroy sensitive documents as Taliban inches closer to Kabul

As the situation turns grim in Afghanistan with Taliban fighters inching towards the capital Kabul, the US Embassy in Kabul has instructed its personnel to destroy sensitive materials as part of the “Emergency Destruction Services”, reports said.

The embassy officials have been instructed to destroy sensitive materials as well as items such as embassy or agency logos, American flags, or items which could be “misused in propaganda efforts”, CNN quoted a management notice sent to embassy staff.

The notice said there would be a variety of means to destroy these materials, including burn bins, a disintegrator, an incinerator and a compacter and heavy-duty equipment, CNN reported.

“Drawdowns at our diplomatic posts around the world follow a standard operating procedure designed to minimize our footprint across various categories, including staffing, equipment, and supplies. Embassy Kabul is conducting their drawdown in accordance with this standard operating procedure,” CNN quoted a State Department spokesperson as saying.

According to the Associated Press, helicopters were seen landing at the US Embassy in Kabul as diplomatic vehicles left the compound. The rapid shuttle runs by helicopters came Sunday as wisps of smoke rose from the embassy’s roof.

On Saturday, US President Joe Biden authorised the deployment of approximately 5,000 US troops to ensure an orderly and safe evacuation of diplomats and other allied personnel, including Afghans who helped during their mission.

The Taliban has taken rapid strides in the last week in controlling over half of the country’s provincial capitals, forcing embassies to either recall their diplomats or relocate their bases.

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