Taliban Leader Encourages Afghans to Stay in Country Vowing to 'Guarantee Their Security'

The Taliban urged the tens of thousands of Afghans seeking to flee Afghanistan to stay in the country, promising to guarantee their safety.

"We guarantee their security," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said during a news conference in the capital city Kabul on Tuesday, Reuters reported. He also called on the U.S. not to encourage Afghan people to leave.

Following the Taliban's return to power in Afghanistan earlier in August, many Afghan citizens have fled to the airport seeking to evacuate, fearing a return to the brutal rule the group enforced while in power from 1996 to 2001.

Mujahid said the group was trying to create a plan to allow women to return work and that there is no list of people targeted for reprisals. He said the group has "forgotten everything in the past," Reuters reported.

However, United Nations Human Rights Council Chief Michelle Bachelet said her office has received "harrowing and credible" reports of human rights violations in areas under Taliban control including executions, restrictions on freedoms for women and girls, recruitment of child soldiers and repression of peaceful protests, Newsweek previously reported.

Also on Tuesday, the G7 is holding an emergency meeting, where world leaders will discuss the efforts to evacuate western personnel and Afghan civilians. Some leaders are pressing President Joe Biden to back extension of the August 31 deadline to leave, as they are concerned about being able to evacuate everyone on time.

Biden is reportedly considering backing the extension, but the Taliban has said it hasn't been notified of a potential extension and will not grant one, Newsweek previously reported.

Kabul Airport
The Taliban urged Afghans attempting to flee Afghanistan to stay in the country on Tuesday, saying they will “guarantee their safety.” Above, evacuees board buses for processing at the airport in Kabul on Saturday. Isaiah Campbell/U.S. Marine Corps via Getty Images

The Taliban on Tuesday said they will offer "no extensions" for the U.S. to leave, calling the date a "red line." Mujahid said the group will control Kabul's airport after August 31.

However, White House national security Jake Sullivan said Monday the U.S. does not need the Taliban's agreement to stay in the country longer, saying "it will be the president's decision how this proceeds."

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said Tuesday there is more "order and structure" at the airport in Kabul, saying it "is not as chaotic as it was in the first few days," Newsweek reported.

Many Afghans have attempted to flee Afghanistan, causing crowding and chaos at the airport. Dramatic video has captured people handing babies over razor wire to U.S. soldiers and people falling from airplanes in an attempt to escape the country.

In the 24-hour period that ended Tuesday, about 21,600 people were evacuated from Kabul. About 12,700 were carried by U.S. military flights, with another 8,900 people evacuated by U.S. allies. Refugee agencies are preparing to accommodate the influx of Afghans arriving in the country.