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Taliban hatch plan to win over UK: ‘We will protect all portraits of the Queen’


Despite the chaos in Kabul, the militant group have pledged to protect the British diplomatic quarter in order to be seen as a legitimate ruling government. Rahimullah Hijrat, 31, Taliban commander in charge of embassy security, warned the terrorist group wants to be “friends” with the UK. He said: “We are preserving security here until the day your diplomats recognise us and return here.

“Until then everything will be kept as it is. If we find a portrait of the Queen then we will safeguard her too.

“She is your affair not ours.

“When the British come back, as we hope they will, then we expect to be their guards too.”

In a parting shot to the UK and its withdrawal from the country, the militant admitted his surprise over Britain’s retreat.

He told The Times’s Anthony Loyd: “Nevertheless, we are surprised to see the panic and speed of the British retreat from this war.”

According to Hijrat, the Taliban leadership has issued instructions to safeguard the diplomatic quarter and the British embassy.

The UK’s ambassador to the state, Sir Lauria Bristow is still in the country processing visa paperwork for those hoping to flee the state.

The UK has managed to evacuate large numbers of nationals but the deadline for the complete withdrawal remains August 31, meaning large numbers will not be able to flee.

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Ahead of the deadline, Ben Wallace, Defence Secretary, claimed the UK’s operation is into its final hours in order to evacuate refugees.

Mr Wallace revealed this morning, the UK had now closed its processing centre in Kabul at the Baron Hotel.

He told Sky News: “We, at 4.30 this morning, UK-time, closed the Baron Hotel, shut the processing centre and the gates were closed at Abbey Gate.

“We will process the people that we’ve brought with us, the 1,000 people approximately in the airfield now and we will seek a way to continue to find a few people in the crowds where we can, but overall the main processing is now closed and we have a matter of hours.

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“The sad fact is not every single one will get out.

“The threat is obviously going to grow the closer we get to leaving.”

According to reports, 100 out of the 1,000 British troops have now left the country.

The UK was forced to close the hotel following attacks which killed 95 Afghans and 13 US troops.

Terror group, ISIS-K claimed responsibility for the attacks which also saw a further 143 Afghans wounded.

The attacks were carried out by two suicide bombers near the Kabul airport.

Commenting on the attack, Joe Biden said: “For those who carried out this attack, as well as anyone who wishes America harm, we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.

“These ISIS terrorists will not win.”

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