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President Joe Biden has issued out a warning to the Taliban not to attack United States personnel on Afghan soil, warning that the consequences would be devastating if that happens.

Biden, in a presidential address on Monday, said the US would respond with ‘devastating force’ should the Taliban assail any American citizen or any American worker on Afghan soil.

‘American troops are performing this mission as professionally and as effectively as they always do. But it is not without risks. As we carry out this departure, we have made it clear to the Taliban: If they attack our personnel or disrupt our operation, the U.S. presence will be swift, and the response will be swift and forceful. We will defend our people with devastating force if necessary. Our current military mission is short on time, limited in scope, and focused in its objectives: Get our people and our allies as safely and quickly as possible. And once we have completed this mission, we will conclude our military withdrawal. We will end America’s longest war after 20 long years of bloodshed,’ he said.

Read Also: Tension As Taliban Capture First Afghan Provincial Capital

The militants captured Kabul, and many other cities, with little bloodshed — but in the capital, a sense of panic and fear overwhelmed residents, some of whom worried about a repeat of the insurgents’ brutal Islamist rule from 1996 to 2001.

At the airport, frantic Afghans tried to board the few flights available throughout the day, before US forces — sent in to secure the facility — shut down military and civilian operations.

‘We are afraid to live in this city,’ a 25-year-old ex-soldier told reporters as he stood among huge crowds on the tarmac.

‘Since I served in the army, the Taliban would definitely target me.’

Africa Today News, New York reports that the United States — which was left shocked by the rapid collapse of the Afghan government — has sent 6,000 troops to ensure the safe evacuation of embassy staff, as well as Afghans who worked as interpreters or in other support roles.