UK denies pushing to leave Kabul airport gate open before blast

A Politico report on Monday (August 30) said American forces decided to keep the Abbey Gate open longer than they wanted to allow Britain to continue evacuating personnel.

Raab said Britain had taken mitigating action, including warning people not to come to the airport.

"We also shifted the civilian team that we had in the Baron Hotel to the airport, because (being) a stone's throw away from where the terrorist attack took place, it clearly wasn't safe, but none of that would have required or necessitated Abbey Gate to be left open," he told BBC News.

Raab defended his response to the Taliban taking control of Afghanistan, dismissing reports he failed to do enough to prepare.

The Foreign Secretary, who was on holiday as the Taliban swept through Afghanistan, did not call the Afghan or Pakistani foreign ministers in the six months before the crisis, the Sunday Times reported.

He said Britain had secured safe passage for 17,000 people, including around 5,000 British nationals since April, with the numbers remaining in Afghanistan in the "low hundreds".

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