MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. More than 2,000 Afghans seeking to leave the country have flocked to the Kabul International Airport tarmac, Afghanistan’s TOLOnews TV channel reported on Monday.
The channel notes that locals have begun gathering in the airport on Sunday evening, attempting to flee the country after the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) took over the country. The Kabul airport’s Facebook page published a video showing hundreds of people crowding parked planes. Moreover, Pajhwok Afghan News published footage depicting dozens of people trying to stop an American transport plane at the runway.
Meanwhile, three people died after falling off a US Air Force plane that was leaving Kabul, the Khaama Press News Agency reported. The people died after plummeting to the ground from a high altitude as they tried to escape the country but clinging onto the plane’s landing gear. The agency also disseminated a clip proving that the Kabul airport has plunged into panic as thousands of Afghans are desperate to flee. US planes are in Kabul to evacuate US Embassy staffers and those Afghans who cooperated with the Americans.
Earlier, Reuters cited witnesses to report that at least five people died in a stampede and shooting at the Kabul airport, while the Al Arabiya TV channel informed about four dead and 13 injured people. US military personnel are overseeing the orderly evacuation from Afghanistan and fired warning shots. Western diplomats and nationals are currently being airlifted, while all commercial flights from the airport were cancelled and all transit planes were recommended to choose routes to bypass the country’s airspace.
On Sunday, the Taliban militants entered Kabul without a fight and occupied government agencies that were abandoned by government forces. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country. Later, the Taliban announced that it had taken control over all districts of the Afghan capital.