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The Indian Embassy in Afghanistan has advised all Indians to make "immediate" travel arrangements for returning home amid the ongoing fighting between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.

This came hours after the Indian government shut its consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, the biggest city in the north, and urged its diplomats and Indian citizens to take the special flight home.

India has now closed all its consulates, leaving only the embassy in Kabul operational, a government official said.

Read the security advisory here:

  • As violence in many parts of Afghanistan has escalated, commercial air travel services to many provinces and cities are getting discontinued. All Indian nationals visiting, staying and working in Afghanistan are strongly advised to keep themselves updated on the availability of commercial flights from various parts of Afghanistan and make immediate travel arrangements to return to India before commercial air services are discontinued to their place of stay/visit in Afghanistan.
  • Indian companies operating in Afghanistan are strongly advised to immediately withdraw their Indian employees out of project sites in Afghanistan before air travel services get discontinued. Indian nationals working for Afghan or foreign companies in Afghanistan should immediately request their employer to facilitate their travel from project sites to India.
  • Special attention is once again drawn to the members of the Indian media arriving in Afghanistan. The contents of this advisory are valid for such Indian media persons also. It is very essential that all Indian media persons arriving/staying in Afghanistan to establish contact with Public Affairs and Security Wing of the Embassy for a personalized briefing, including specific advice for the location they are travelling to. This will help media persons make a better assessment of the risks involved, given the rapid changes in security situation taking place in different parts of the country.
  • All Indian nationals are once again advised to register themselves with the Embassy of India website: https://eoi.gov.in/kabul/ or by email to paw.kabul@mea.gov.in immediately.

Last week, the external affairs ministry said in Lok Sabha that India remained vigilant and is taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of Indians in the conflict-ridden country.

The Taliban has been making rapid advances across Afghanistan by resorting to widespread violence since the US began withdrawing its troops on 1 May.

The US has already pulled back the majority of its forces and is looking to complete the drawdown by 31 August.

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