U.K. – 7 Afghans killed at Kabul International Airport
At least seven Afghans have been killed in the crowds near Kabul’s international airport as tens of thousands tried to leave Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover of the country, the British defence ministry said in a statement Sunday. “Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible,” the defense ministry said in a statement.
On Saturday, British and Western troops in full combat gear tried to control the crowds pressing in. They carried away some who were sweating and pale. With temperatures reaching 34 degree Celsius (93 degrees Fahrenheit), the soldiers sprayed water from a hose on those gathered or gave them bottled water to pour over their heads.
Thousands rushed the airport last Monday in chaos that saw the US try to clear off the runway with low-flying attack helicopters. Several Afghans plunged to their deaths while hanging off the side of a US military cargo plane. It’s been difficult to know the full scale of the deaths and injuries from the chaos.
According to several reports, at least a dozen people have been killed and several others injured at the Kabul airport in stampedes as Taliban fighters fire into the air to drive away those desperate to get out of the country.
The US Transportation Command said on Saturday it had issued a warning order to US carriers on Friday night on the possible activation of the programme. If called upon, commercial airlines would transport evacuees from way stations outside Afghanistan to another country or from Virginia’s Dulles International Airport to US military bases.