Taliban say they will «not allow» Afghan nationals to leave after August 31.

The Taliban said they had not agreed to an extension of the Aug. 31 deadline set by the United States to pull out of Afghanistan and that they wanted all evacuations to end by that date.

Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the crowds of Afghans thronging Kabul airport seeking a flight out of the country could go home.

However, Mujahid said they were "not in favour" of letting Afghan nationals leave and would "not allow them" to after August 31. The spokesman also added that the Taliban would "take a serious position" if the Americans were still in the country.

The hardline Islamist group sought to assure the thousands of Afghans crowded into Kabul airport in the hope of boarding flights they had nothing to fear and should go home.

"We guarantee their security," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told a news conference in the capital, which Taliban fighters seized on Aug. 15.

As he spoke, Western troops were working frantically to get foreigners and Afghans onto planes and out of the country. U.S. President Joe Biden faced growing pressure to negotiate more time for the airlift.

Chaos punctuated by sporadic violence has gripped the airport following the Taliban's rapid takeover of the country.

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