Saturday, September 18, 2021

Scenes of panic at Kabul airport as desperate residents try to flee Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, there were scenes of panic at Kabul airport as desperate residents try to flee following the seizure of the capital by the Taliban.

Eyewitnesses told media that at least three civilians died today in the chaos at the airport, which is being secured by US troops.

Commercial flights have mostly been suspended, stranding hundreds of Afghans and other foreign nationals.

As huge crowds gathered, US forces reportedly fired into the air to disperse people who were trying to force their way onto planes.

There were reports that some died in the stampede.

Video obtained by an Afghan media outlet of another incident apparently shows three men falling from a plane that had taken off, after clinging to its tyres.

The US has sent 6,000 troops to assist in the evacuation.

The US and other countries are rushing to evacuate staff and allies.

Yesterday, Taliban declared victory after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled abroad and his government collapsed.

The militants’ return to rule brings an end to almost 20 years of a US-led coalition’s presence in the country.

Kabul was the last major city in Afghanistan to hold out against a Taliban offensive that began months ago but accelerated in recent days as they gained control of territories, shocking many observers.

Thousands of American citizens, local embassy staff and their families, as well as other vulnerable Afghan nationals will be airlifted in the coming days, a US Government statement said.

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