Afghanistan: Crowds scale jet bridge at Kabul airport in desperate bid to escape Taliban

Several people died amid chaos on the first day of Taliban rule in Afghanistan

Shweta Sharma
Monday 16 August 2021 12:35
comments
Afghanistan: Crowds scale jet bridge at Kabul airport in desperate bid to escape Taliban

In astonishing scenes at Kabul airport on Monday, scores of desperate Afghanis were seen scaling the air bridge of an aircraft from all sides in a last-ditch attempt to escape the Taliban.

Videos on social media showed chaotic scenes as thousands of people rushed to escape the countryafter the Taliban captured the capital.

People climbed on the stairs leading to the plane from all sides and some were seen dangling from it, videos showed.

It was claimed that five people were killed at the airport amid the unfloding chaos, reported Reuters. It is still unknown how the civilians died. The incident was reported hours after US soldiers fired gunshots at the airport to disperse the crowd. But it is unclear if the deaths are connected to the shooting.

The US military, which is guarding the evacuation of its nationals from the airport, has established a perimeter at the airport and controlling at least a portion of the complex.

Meanwhile, there were unconfirmed reports of three people dying after falling from the flying aircrafts as they clung to the undercarriage of a departing US air force C-17 plane. They fell on to rooftops after the plane took off. The videos, which could not be confirmed by The Independent , showed bodies on the ground.

Another video from the Kabul airport showed hundreds of people running amok at the airport to board the flights .

Germany’s foreign ministry, which has sent planes to take home its nationals, said it was unclear how long evacuations could continue as the situation at the airport is confusing.

Meanwhile, British Conservative party MP Tobias Ellwood compared chaotic scenes at Kabul airport to “Saigon 2.0”, in reference to US evacuations after the North Vietnamese army captured the southern capital and ended the Vietnam War.

Since declaring victory over Afghanistan, the presence of Taliban fighters can be seen across the capital as people woke up on the fist day of the Islamist group’s rule.

Taliban fighters have started collecting weapons from civilians on Monday, as an official said they no longer need them for personal protection.

“We understand people kept weapons for personal safety. They can now feel safe. We are not here to harm innocent civilians,” the official told Reuters.

This came as Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen assured in a tweet that their fighters were under strict orders not to harm anyone.

“Life, property and honour of none shall be harmed but must be protected by the mujahideen,” he said.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments