Afghans crowd airport tarmac to leave as Taliban takes Kabul
Thousands of Afghans crowded an airport in Kabul as the Taliban took hold of the nation’s capital.
Footage shows people flooding the tarmac of Hamid Karzai International Airport in the early hours of the morning on August 16 in hopes of boarding a flight out of the country. Gunshots were reportedly fired by US forces to help marshal the panicking mob.
The US State Department said it has approved the deployment of 6,000 more troops to the airport to facilitate evacuation at the congested terminal.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani had already fled the country, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed. Foreign diplomats have also been evacuated as the insurgents occupied the abandoned presidential palace and tightened their grip on the besieged country.
A Taliban spokesman said the war was ‘over’ and that the militants have accomplished their objective or retaking the country following two decades of western occupation started by former leaders George Bush and Tony Blair.
Mohammad Naeem said: ‘We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people. We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others.’