Top US Republican says Taliban holding Americans hostage at airport for demands

The top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee said the Taliban are holding some Americans hostage in Afghanistan.

Republican Michael McCaul told Fox News Sunday: “We have six airplanes at Mazar-e-Sharif airport with American citizens on them, and [Afghan] interpreters and the Taliban [are] holding them hostage for demands right now.”

“The State has cleared these flights and the Taliban will not let them leave the airport,” he added.

The US completed the withdrawal of its troops on August 31, and officials said that there are dozens left in Afghanistan and that it is coordinating with the Taliban to fly them out.

McCaul did not specify the Taliban’s demands. However, he said he worried the group would continue to demand more “whether it be cash or legitimacy as the government of Afghanistan.”

The White House has said the US and its allies were in no rush to recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban government, after the group seized control of the country on August 15.

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