210826 Kabul airport
People wait outside Hamid Karzai International Airport as a military transport plane takes off behind them in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2021. Image Credit: New York Times

Washington: The US embassy in Kabul advised US citizens not to travel to the Hamid Karzai International Airport at this time, according to an embassy security alert issued on Wednesday.

Citizens already at the airport’s Abbey Gate, East Gate, and North Gate were advised to leave immediately, said the security alert.

The alert, posted on the embassy website, gave no reason for why it was issued.

It followed warnings by US President Joe Biden and other administration officials of a threat by Daesh to evacuation operations as crowds thronged airport gates, desperate to leave following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne issued a similar warning, urging its citizens and those with a visa for Australia to evacuate the area.

Australia has been evacuating its citizens and visa holders for more than a week from Kabul airport, where Canberra had urged people to travel in order to be ready for transport.

Late on Wednesday, Australia changed its advice to those in the area, which Payne said was based on heightened concerns of an attack.

"There is an ongoing and very high threat of a terrorist attack," Payne told reporters in Canberra.