‘At Least Five Dead’ As Chaos Erupts At Kabul Airport Amid Attempts To Flee Taliban
Amid the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, witnesses have claimed ‘at least five people’ have died as chaos erupts at Kabul airport.
Hundreds of people have flocked to the airport to try to force their way onboard evacuation flights, witnesses have reported.
The scenes follow soon after the news of the Taliban taking over Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul.
In some of the videos taken at the airport, repeated gunshots can be heard, with crowds seen desperately trying to force their way onto planes in order to evacuate the city, which is now under the control of the military group.
Kabul was the last major city to be captured, and in the last few days, the military group seized the presidential palace, with President Ashraf Ghani fleeing. It is thought Ghani may have fled to be Tajikistan, but his location has not been disclosed.
Due to the Taliban’s rapid victory, thousands of citizens have fled to the airport to try and evacuate abroad. A US official confirmed that US troops, who control the airport, fired warning shots into the crowds in order to break them up.
A US official told Reuters: ‘The crowd was out of control. The firing was only done to refuse the chaos.’ However, witnesses were not sure if the five dead were a result of gunshots or a stampede.
Ahead of their withdrawal from the country, American diplomats were lifted to the airport from their US embassy by helicopter.
Military aircraft were sent by countries including Spain and Italy to evacuate their citizens and embassy staff. Spanish interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said: ‘We have transported all the embassy staff as well as protection crews to the airport.’
Diplomats continue to be evacuated, however, the side of the airport labelled the ‘civilian side’, is ‘closed until further notice’, according to Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority, who made a statement on Monday, August 16.
Britain is reportedly doing everything it can to evacuate British citizens and Afghans with links to Britain. Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: ‘Our target is […] about 1200 to 1500 exit a day in the capacity of our airplanes and we’ll keep that flow.’ However, it has been reported the Taliban will not allow any Afghan citizens to leave.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read
CreditsThe Independent and 1 other
Terror at Kabul airport: At least five killed amid chaotic scenes as US troops fire shots into the air to quell crowd of thousands trying to flee Afghanistan with some desperate Afghans climbing up airbridges to get on to planes out of capital