Afghanistan: One Afghan soldier killed in gunfight involving western forces at Kabul airport

Security official was member of Afghan army helping to secure Kabul airport, as race to evacuate allied Afghans continues

Ella Glover
Monday 23 August 2021 10:19 BST
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At least one Afghan security official was killed in a gunfight at Kabul’s international airport on Monday, German officials said.

The shooting, which took place near the northern gate of Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, was reported by the German military on Twitter.

Another three Afghan security officials were wounded and US and German soldiers were involved, the statement said.

Western soldiers at the airport were unharmed in the incident.

The security officials were members of the Afghan army helping to secure Kabul airport as evacuation efforts are taking place.

The shooting came at around 6.45am, but otherwise the circumstances around it remain unclear and the death has yet to be acknowledged by Nato, the US military or the Taliban.

It comes as the Taliban is sending fighters northwards to face a nascent rebellion. The Islamist group says there has so far been no fighting but rebels have seized three rural districts in the mountains of the Hindu Kush.

Kabul’s airport has been the scene of several deadly incidents since the Taliban took over the country in a matter of weeks following the US decision to pull troops out of Afghanistan.

Nato said that around 20 people have died at the airport in the last week, including seven who were killed in a stampede after both US troops and Taliban militants fired into the air in an attempt to control the crowd. Multiple people also died after falling from an American C-17 aircraft which they were clinging on to as it took off from the runway.

The Ministry of Defence spoke about the deteriorating security situation at the airport in a statement on Sunday.

It said: “Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible.

“Our sincere thoughts are with the families of the seven Afghan civilians who have sadly died in crowds in Kabul.”

The US has an agreement in place with the Taliban to allow ongoing evacuations from Kabul International Airport, but fears of a potential terror attack by a local Isis affiliate have prompted US military planes to take measures such as corkscrew landings in order to prevent missile attacks.

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