Afghans storm Kabul airport in desperate attempt to escape

Crowds outside Kabul International Airport kept growing on Monday morning, leaving fences and security forces strained to contain the ma...


Crowds outside Kabul International Airport kept growing on Monday morning, leaving fences and security forces strained to contain the mass of people desperate to flee Afghanistan as the Taliban took over Control.

They rushed through the perimeter of the civilian section of the airport and invaded the tarmac. Soldiers stood guard, many with drawn guns.

As the flights prepared to take off, people hung dangerously alongside the military planes even as one taxied down the runway.

As the chaos spread, US troops took control of the civilian section of the airport, as people rushed through the departure gates and tried to clear their way aboard two planes. shopping centers parked next to the terminal.

With civilian air travel temporarily halted, arriving and departing military planes highlighted the gulf between foreign nationals and some Afghans fleeing security, and many others who would have no escape route.

But Monday night in Kabul, military and civilian flights were suspended, the Pentagon said.

The american government said that in the next few days it would evacuate thousands of American citizens, embassy workers and their families, as well as “particularly vulnerable Afghan nationals”.

Desperation was evident as some people burst into tears, acknowledging that their chances of escaping were slim. Reports of gunfire also circulated throughout the morning.

Although the Taliban have taken control of the country, there is no government to speak of. This has made it difficult to obtain reliable information, both for people inside the country and around the world watching the events unfold.

Journalists video recorded sounds of gunshots at the airport as people crossed the tarmac and approached the doors from outside. Local media released a video of young Afghans hanging from a plane as it drove. Apache helicopters flew over at low altitude crowds to pave the way for military planes.

The Afghan Civil Aviation Authority said on Monday that all civilian flights to and from Kabul airport had been suspended because of the chaos. The agency urged people not to go to the airport.

But the tracking site Flightradar24 reported that a Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300 had left for Istanbul after five hours on the ground.

Twenty years after the United States invaded Afghanistan, the airport was the country’s last redoubt, one of the last places in the capital not to be controlled by the Taliban. The State Department said all embassy staff had been evacuated to the airport, where they were defended by the US military.

But for the thousands more who hoped to find refuge, there was no escape.

Witnesses said they saw an increasing number of Taliban around the civilian side of the airport. They seemed to chase groups of people away, sometimes shooting in the air to get them to move.

Several witnesses said the Taliban now controlled access to entrances on the civilian side – allowing groups of people and vehicles to leave the airport but pushing people back if they attempted to enter.

An international aid worker trying to get to the airport was told that no one would be allowed to leave the country now without permission from the “new government”.



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Newsrust - US Top News: Afghans storm Kabul airport in desperate attempt to escape
Afghans storm Kabul airport in desperate attempt to escape
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