United States citizens have been beaten by the Taliban while attempting to reach the U.S.-held airport in Kabul, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said during a Defense Department briefing on Saturday.
“We know of cases, a small number that we know of,” Kirby said at the briefing. “We don’t have perfect visibility, but we know of a small number of cases where some Americans and certainly, as [Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin] also said in that statement, Afghans — Afghans that we want to evacuate, it wasn’t just Americans that he talked about — have been harassed and in some cases beaten. We don’t believe it is a very large number. And a matter of fact, the numbers would indicate … that … by and large, most Americans who have their credentials with them are being allowed through the Taliban checkpoints and … into the gate and onto the airfield.
U.S. citizens were told Saturday not to travel to the airport due to increased security threats, Per Second News gathered.
“We are aware of sporadic cases where they aren’t being allowed, where there is some harassment going on, and yes, some physical violence has occurred” within the last week.
U.S. Army Major General Hank Taylor also provided updated numbers on evacuations, saying that among the 17,000 evacuated this week, 2,500 were Americans.
“The Taliban has a hit list of known Christians they are targeting to pursue and kill. The U.S. Embassy is defunct and there is no longer a safe place for believers to take refuge,” said an Afghan pastor.
“All borders to neighboring countries are closed and all flights to and from have been halted, with the exception of private planes. People are fleeing into the mountains looking for asylum. They are fully reliant on God, who is the only One who can and will protect them.”