Chaos at the airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul: Thousands of Afghans have fled to the airport and made their way onto the tarmac, desperately trying to board and board departing planes. They are terrified now that the Taliban has once again seized power in their country and they want to escape from it as soon as possible. Several people were killed in the unrest. The Belgians in attendance make a desperate plea from the airport at VTM NIEUWS: “I hope there’s a flight. Our lives are in danger.”
IB and ADN
National Ports Agency, Belga, Reuters
Kabul airport is currently the only “exit” from Afghanistan, where the Taliban control all other border crossings. Commercial flights were supposed to leave today/Monday, but due to chaos it is not possible at the moment. All commercial flights from the airport have been cancelled, and only military aircraft can access the airspace.
The US military has assumed control of air traffic and airport security, and is currently evacuating only US citizens who have lived in Afghanistan, local staff from the US military mission in Kabul and their families, and some “particularly vulnerable” Afghan nationals. As part of the departure plan, there are about 20,000 Afghans eligible for special US immigrant visas, nearly 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the US in the past two weeks. Several other countries and the European Commission are also trying to urgently evacuate their diplomats and nationals from Kabul.
For ordinary Afghans themselves, there is still no way out. Thousands of people stormed their way to the capital’s airport on Monday, and people kept pouring in. They desperately hope to get a seat on one of the departing planes. The situation is chaotic, with videos showing people fighting to get to evacuated planes.
US soldiers fired several shots into the air Monday morning due to the chaos. They wanted to make sure that the fugitive Afghans were off the runway. “The crowd was out of their minds. This was the only way to do something about the chaos,” one soldier said.
“I am very afraid. They are shooting in the air,” a witness said of the chaos in the amphitheater. “I saw a little girl being crushed and killed.” Also according to other eyewitnesses, the girl would have died of persecution.
According to the US Wall Street Journal, three people were killed at the airport, some of whom were said to have been shot. Reuters has already reported five deaths, and the news agency has not commented on the cause. It was not possible to obtain a comment from US sources.
Please don’t go to the airport.
A US military official confirmed in a statement that the planes are now intended for diplomats and embassy staff only. The capital’s aviation authority later confirmed in a press statement that “there will be no commercial flights from Hamid Karzai International Airport to avoid looting.” “Please don’t go to the airport.”
The call does not help. People keep coming in and more and more hallucinatory images flood social media. One of the videos, for example, shows people walking in front of a large American cargo plane and trying to board it. There are also unconfirmed reports of people attaching themselves to the wheel arches of aircraft but falling off during takeoff.
After helicopters flew back and forth all day yesterday, the US flag was lowered last night on the US Embassy building in Kabul from Sunday to Monday. The embassy was one of the largest in the world. In total, more than 4,000 people worked at the embassy, both Americans and Afghans. About five hundred people are said to have left the country in the meantime.
“Let the citizens who want to leave”
Meanwhile, the United States, along with 65 other countries, including our country, Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea and Italy, issued a joint statement calling on the Taliban to leave for the safe departure of those seeking to flee Afghanistan. Airports and border crossings must remain open so that Afghan nationals and foreigners can leave the country.
“Given the deteriorating security situation, we call on all parties to respect and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of all Afghan nationals and foreigners wishing to leave the country,” the statement said. “Those in positions of authority or authority in Afghanistan have a responsibility to protect human life and to restore the immediate security and civil order.”
Unlimited free access to Showbytes? And that can!
Log in or create an account and never miss any of the stars.
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”