Government warns UK nationals to leave Afghanistan immediately as Taliban advances

Credit: AP

All UK nationals in Afghanistan are being advised to leave the country immediately because of the "worsening security situation", the government has warned.

It comes as Taliban has captured an Afghan provincial capital after appeals for reinforcements by local security forces went unheard.

Explosions have continued this week in the country's capital, Kabul - home to several senior government officials, including the defence minister.

Officials had earlier confirmed nine out of the 10 of the city's districts are now under the hardline Islamists’ control, as residents were urged to evacuate.

Afghan security forces after a recent bombing in Kabul. Credit: AP

The head of Afghanistan's media and information centre has also been assassinated by Taliban militants in Kabul, just days after an assassination attempt on the country’s acting defence minister.

Dawa Khan Menapal was killed by gunmen on Darul Aman Road in the capital on Friday, reports said.

The Taliban said he had been "punished for his deeds", according to foreign agencies.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office’s website was updated on Friday, advising against all travel to Afghanistan.

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."

Afghanistan was already on the government’s travel red list because of the country’s Covid situation.

The Taliban have been waging fierce battles for months across Afghanistan, laying siege to provincial capitals in the south and west of the country after capturing district after district and seizing several key border crossings.

In southern Nimroz province, the capital of Zaranj appeared to be the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban, though the government claimed there was still fierce fighting around key infrastructure in the city.