7 killed in Kabul airport chaos as military evacuation INTERRUPTED by desperate Afghan civilians after regular flights CANCELED
US officials say seven people have died at Kabul airport, including some who fell from a departing American transport plane. Meanwhile, flights out of the Afghan capital have been interrupted by crowds on the runway.
The death toll was reported by the Associated Press on Monday, citing US officials. Throughout Sunday night, US troops brought in to protect the evacuation of American diplomats and workers struggled to keep hundreds of desperate Afghans off the runway at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai Airport, which is now the only lifeline between Taliban-controlled Afghanistan and the outside world.
US troops killed two gunmen at the airport, a Pentagon official stated later on Monday, adding that there was "no indication" that they were Taliban fighters. One American troop was injured, he added.Also on rt.com ‘US saved dogs over Afghan lives’: Washington accused of valuing animals over civilians, after soldiers evacuate K-9s
A number of men had clung to a US military transport plane as it took off, but fell to their deaths shortly after takeoff. Their horrifying plunge to the ground below was captured on camera, with the footage shared on social media.
Latest pictures from Kabul Airport. People are on their own now while the world watches in silence. Only sane advise to Afghan people…RUN pic.twitter.com/RQGw28jFYx— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) August 16, 2021
Commercial flights out of Kabul were suspended on Sunday, but droves of people crowded onto the airport’s single runway regardless, in a last-ditch bid to catch a flight out of the capital.
American troops struggled to hold back the crowds overnight, and reports surfaced of volleys of gunfire and of stampedes breaking out.
Taliban fighters are also attempting to keep crowds back from the airport, per multiple reports.
Firing at the Kabul airport. Taliban are barely 100 meters away and stopping people from entering the airport. Hundreds of people are sitting at the runway refusing to leave in the hope of flying out of the hell. (Video+Info) via local sources pic.twitter.com/iPt5N6ilx3— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) August 16, 2021
Hordes of people have still managed to scale the fence surrounding the airport, and video footage shows crowds packing the tarmac and climbing atop parked commercial planes.
Military flights were leaving the airport earlier on Monday, but the Pentagon later put a halt to them out of "an abundance of caution," a spokesman said. US and international troops were working to clear the runway of people so that flights could resume, he added.
The rush to the airport began on Sunday, when Taliban militants entered Kabul, and the ousted US-backed president, Ashraf Ghani, left the country. With the capital now under Taliban control, American and some other foreign diplomats and workers made for the airport, along with thousands of Afghan citizens looking for an escape to the West.Also on rt.com ‘World has gone Covid-mad’: Afghans fleeing Taliban need negative PCR test to board now-suspended commercial flights out of Kabul
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