Denver

7 killed in Kabul airport chaos as Taliban patrols capital – The Denver Post – Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado 2021-08-16 13:31:15 –

AHMAD SEIR, TAMEEM AKHGAR, KATHY GANNON, JONGAMBRELL

Kabul, Afghanistan (AP) — Thousands of Afghans rushed to Kabul’s main airport on Monday, desperately trying to escape the Taliban, holding it when a military aircraft took off and plunged. At least seven people died in the turmoil as the longest war in the United States ended with an enemy victory, US officials said.

Crowds are enforcing their control over the capital of 5 million people after the Taliban’s lightning-fast advances across the country, which took more than a week to seize the western-backed government throne of the country. I came. Although there were no major reports of abuse or combat, many residents remained home and feared after the prisons were emptied and weapons were looted due to the advancement of armed groups.

The International Committee of the Red Cross has warned that thousands of people have been injured in combat across the country. Elsewhere, security forces and politicians handed over their states and bases without fighting, perhaps believing that a 20-year western experiment to rebuild Afghanistan would not survive the resurrected Taliban. The last US military was scheduled to withdraw at the end of the month.

“The world is following what happened in Afghanistan with all its heart and with deep anxiety about what is ahead,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned.

As the US military and others continued their evacuation flights, Afghanistan flocked to the tarmac at the international airport. Some boarded an aircraft parked on the taxiing way, while others hung unstable from the boarding bridge.

The US military took a position to defend the active runway, but the crowd passed by them and their armored vehicles. The bullet rang. When a U.S. Air Force Boeing C-17 Globemaster III was about to take off, a helicopter flew low in front of it, trying to drive people off the runway.

The video showed a group of Afghans hanging on a plane just before takeoff, and several Afghans falling in the air as the plane rapidly climbed the city’s altitude.

A senior U.S. military official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing operation told The Associated Press that the turmoil left seven dead, including a few who had fallen from the flight. Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. military had killed two people who said he had a melee weapon. He said an additional 1,000 US troops would be deployed to secure the airfield and back up the 2,500 already there.

Kirby added that all flights at the airport (both military and civilian) were suspended until Afghan civilians were able to leave the runway.

According to witnesses, late Monday night, hundreds of people remained trapped between US troops trying to drive them out of the airport and Taliban troops trying to lock them in. Associated Press journalists also saw what looked like an airstrike targeting two vehicles near the airport.

Shafi Alifi, who had a ticket for a trip to Uzbekistan on Sunday, was unable to board the plane because it was full of people boarding across the tarmac without police or airport staff visible.

“There was no room for us to stand,” said the 24-year-old child. “The children were crying, the women were screaming, the young and old were angry and upset, and no one could hear each other. There was no oxygen to breathe.”

After the woman fainted and was taken out of the plane, Alifi gave up and went home.

Other Afghans, such as Rakhmatula Kuyash, are also trying to leave through border crossings, all of which are now dominated by the Taliban.

“I’m lost and I don’t know what to do,” said Kuyash, who traveled to Uzbekistan on Sunday after leaving his children and relatives in Afghanistan. “I left everything behind.”

Others weren’t so lucky. Uzbekistan’s air defense shot down an Afghan military aircraft attempting to enter the country without permission. The two pilots were reportedly injured and detained.

Meanwhile, President Ashraf Ghani, who had previously left the country, faced Russia’s allegations that he fled Kabul with four cars and a helicopter full of cash. His whereabouts remained unknown.

The US embassy was evacuated, the American flag was lowered, and diplomats moved to the airport to help with the evacuation. Other Western nations also closed their mission, skipping staff and their citizens.

In an interview with the US television network, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said Afghan troops have accused the Taliban of its rapid takeover and are unwilling to fight.

But the ease with which the Taliban took control is beyond military power, the Texas-based private intelligence agency Stratfor wrote.

“The speed of the Taliban’s final advance suggests less military control than an effective political rebellion, and Afghanistan’s political system and security forces are suffering from demoralization,” he said. ..

The Taliban attacks across the country surprised US officials. A few days before the insurgents entered Kabul without resistance, US military assessments predicted that it could take months before the capital collapsed.

The rout threatened to erase 20 years of Western efforts to rebuild Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of Afghanistan and more than 3,500 US and Allied troops were killed. The first invasion of 2001 expelled the Taliban from power and scattered al-Qaeda planning a 9/11 attack while protected in Afghanistan.

Under the Taliban, which governed according to the strict interpretation of Islamic law, women were primarily trapped in their homes, and criminal suspects faced disconnection or public execution. Armed groups have sought to project greater moderation in recent years, but many Afghans remain skeptical.

The Taliban militants visited the private satellite channel ToloTV in search of “government-issued weapons,” but journalists have been able to work so far, station owner Saad Mohsini said. Some militants wore Afghan military uniforms and began patrols, arresting suspected robbers.

Filippo Grandi of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees individually described the exchange with the Taliban as “relatively positive.”

On Monday, Niran, a 27-year-old resident of Kabul who asked to be identified by her name alone for fear of retaliation, said he did not see a woman on the street during the 15-minute drive. .. Men and boys. “

“It feels like time has stopped. Everything has changed,” she told AP.

“I feel like our life and future are over,” she added.

___

Akhgar reported from Istanbul, Gannon from Guelph, Canada, and Gambrell from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writer Joseph Klaus of Jerusalem, Rahim Faith of Istanbul, Edith M. Rederer of the United Nations, Jamie Keeten of Geneva, Samya Kullab of Baghdad, Dalia Litvinova of Moscow, Robert Burns of Washington, James Laporta of Boca Raton, Florida, Zeina Karam of Beirut contributed to this report.

7 killed in Kabul airport chaos as Taliban patrols capital – The Denver Post Source link 7 killed in Kabul airport chaos as Taliban patrols capital – The Denver Post

Back to top button