OXFORD City Council has sent messages of solidarity to Oxford's Afghan community after The Taliban took over the country's capital, Kabul, yesterday.

It has also called on the UK Government to do all it can to protect the rights of the Afghan people, particularly women, girls, and minorities.

There have been chaotic scenes at Kabul airport amid a desperate struggle to get UK nationals and selected Afghans out of the country.

Read here: First flight of evacuated personnel from Afghanistan arrived in Oxfordshire last night

Councillor Shaista Aziz, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Communities said: “I know from speaking to members of Oxford’s Afghan community, especially women, this weekend, there is a great deal of anxiety and worry about the safety and wellbeing of family and friends in Afghanistan. 

"Like the rest of my council colleagues, I stand in solidarity with you and your loved ones. 

“Oxford is a proud city of Sanctuary, a multi-racial and diverse city, a international city, and a city that is home to an established Afghan community who are part of Oxford’s wider community too. Our collective thoughts are with you. "

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said this afternoon that a further 200 UK troops will be sent to Kabul to evacuate British citizens and local allies from Afghanistan.

He added that he would not rule out sanctions if the Taliban did not honour its commitments over human rights.

In pictures: troops leave Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, for Kabul, Afghanistan

Councillor Aziz added: “Oxford City Council reiterates its commitment to supporting the diverse communities of our city including refugee and migrant communities.

"We call on the UK government to do everything in its power to protect the rights of all Afghan people and especially the rights of Afghan women, girls, and minorities. 

"We call on the government to uphold and protect the rights of refugees and all those fleeing persecution.”