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Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaking in Doha, Qatar, on Sept. 7. Photo: Olivier Douliery/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday denied reports that the Taliban is preventing Americans from flying out of Afghanistan from the Mazar-e-Sharif airport, according to Reuters.

Why it matters: The Taliban has been preventing the departure of at least four chartered evacuation flights from the airport for multiple days for unknown reasons.

  • An unnamed Afghan official at the Mazar-e-Sharif airport told AP on Sunday that the would-be passengers are Afghans who don't have passports or visas and thus were unable to leave the country.

What they're saying: Blinken said the Taliban has blocked multiple flights from the northern airport because some aboard lacked valid travel documents.

  • "And my understanding is that the Taliban has not denied exit to anyone holding a valid document, but they have said those without valid documents, at this point, can't leave," Blinken said at a news conference in Qatar, according to Reuters.
  • Blinken said the Taliban were so far allowing Americans with valid travel documents to leave the country and that the Biden administration has identified a "relatively" small number of Americans who are trying to leave Afghanistan through the Mazar-e-Sharif airport.

The big picture: The Taliban said on Monday it had "conquered" Panjshir province, Afghanistan's last holdout of resistance against the country's new rule.

  • Opposition fighters, primarily members of the National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, disputed the claim but called for a cease-fire.

Go deeper: What the Taliban victory means for Afghanistan's neighbors

Go deeper

Oct 19, 2021 - World

WHO, UNICEF to launch polio vaccine drive in Afghanistan

Afghan boys return to their homes after attending school in Chashma Dozak area of Badghis province on Oct. 16. Photo: Hoshang Hashimi/AFP via Getty Images

The World Health Organization and United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) will launch a house-to-house vaccination campaign to inoculate children in Afghanistan against polio, the UN announced Monday.

Why it matters: The campaign, which begins Nov. 8 with the Taliban's backing, is the first such vaccine drive in over three years to reach all Afghan children, the press release noted.

Scoop: Garland defends DOJ's handling of Jan. 6 probe

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland will tell the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday that federal prosecutors "are doing exactly what they are expected to do" in seeking accountability for the "intolerable assault" on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Allies of former President Trump, including Republican congressmen, have criticized the department's treatment rioters charged with crimes, and sought to recast the insurrection as a righteous protest. Garland's testimony with be his first appearance before the panel.

Updated 40 mins ago - World

Police charge man with murder of British MP David Amess

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

Police said Thursday that Ali Harbi Ali, a 25-year-old British man, has been charged with the murder of David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K.

The big picture: Last week, the Metropolitan Police declared the fatal stabbing a terrorist incident, saying that they had found "a potential motivation linked to Islamist extremism."