At least seven individuals have been killed in the chaos at Kabul’s international airport on Monday as thousands of Afghans desperately attempt to flee the Taliban’s capture of their country, according to senior military officials speaking to the Associated Press.
Several Afghans also plummeted to their deaths after they clung to the side of a U.S. Air Force C-17 transport plane and held on even as the plane took off and gained altitude, Fox News reports.
Social media videos show hundreds of Afghans running across the tarmac as US troops fired warning shots into the air. One depicted a crowd pushing and shoving its way up a stairwell in an attempt to board a plane, with some people hanging off the railings. Another shows a group of people falling to their deaths after attempting to cling to a US Air Force C-17 transport plane as it takes off.
Besides, a US official said that the two gunmen who “fired into the crowd” of Afghans at Kabul airport in separate incidents over the last 24 hours were killed by US forces.
The Pentagon confirmed on Monday that U.S. soldiers shot and killed two armed men who fired on U.S. troops at the airport.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced his departure from the country on Sunday. Later that day, the Taliban took over the country’s capital and the presidential palace in Kabul with little resistance. Ghani’s current location is unknown.
The U.S. Embassy in Kabul was evacuated over the weekend, the American flag at the embassy coming down on Sunday as the evacuation process was completed.
By Monday, President Biden had authorized a total of 7,000 troops to handle the situation in Afghanistan as the U.S. completes its withdrawal.