Afghanistan: Shots Fired Outside Kabul Airport As Taliban Try To Control Crowds
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Shots have been fired outside Kabul’s Hamid Karzai airport, with the Taliban trying to control ‘thousands’ wishing to flee Afghanistan.
Amid the militant group’s takeover of the country, Afghan residents have been making desperate attempts to escape. As reported by Fox News, the Taliban has established a ring around the airport at the time of writing, and ‘won’t let anyone inside it’.
While evacuation flights proceed out of Kabul, footage has been circulating online of insurgents firing guns in the air and carrying RPGs, surrounded by panicking crowds.
A former senior US defence official told the outlet that while the 82nd Airborne is trying to secure the airport, ‘the big issue here is that no people outside of the Taliban ring will get in’.
It’s believed at least 12 military flights with evacuees have taken off from the airport today, August 17. ‘Runway in Kabul international airport is open. I see airplanes landing and taking off,’ tweeted Stefano Pontecorvo, NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan.
‘Taliban now rings Kabul airport, controlling access. US told its nationals and allies at weekend to shelter in place. How it now gets them from their current locations across the city to the airport through the Taliban ring is, as yet, unexplained. Big problem for PM Johnson too,’ Andrew Neil also tweeted.
Due to the Taliban controlling the roads to the airport, anyone who wishes to gain entry has to pass their checks, while the US controls the military side of the airport. Some people climbed onto US aircraft in desperation yesterday, August 16, in a bid to flee.
In response to ‘concerns about why we did not begin evacuating Afghan civilians sooner’, President Joe Biden said, ‘Part of the answer is some of the Afghans did not want to leave earlier, still hopeful for their country. And part of it because the Afghan government and its supporters discouraged us from organising a mass exodus to avoid triggering, as they said, a crisis of confidence.’
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Topics: News, Afghanistan, Taliban