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Taliban fire in the air to control crowd at Kabul airport



Witnesses reported the Taliban fired shots into the air and used batons to force people to form orderly lines outside Kabul airport on Sunday, a day after seven people were murdered in a stampede at the gates.

On Sunday, there were no major injuries as gunmen beat back the crowds and long lines of people were being formed, the witnesses said.

Britain’s defense ministry said seven Afghans were killed here in the crash around the airport on Saturday as thousands of people desperately tried to get a flight out, a week after the Islamist militant group took control of the country.

Taliban fire in the air to control crowd at Kabul airport

Taliban fire in the air to control crowd at Kabul airport

Sky News showed footage of soldiers standing on a wall on Saturday attempting to pull the injured out from the crush and spraying people with a hose to prevent them from getting dehydrated.

“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 ministry said in a statement.

A NATO official said that at least 20 people have died in the past seven days in and around the airport. Some were shot and others died in stampedes, witnesses have said.

Panicked Afghans have tried to get on flights abroad, fearing reprisals and a return to a harsh version of Islamic law the Sunni Muslim group exercised when it was in power two decades ago.

The United States and other foreign countries including Britain have brought in several thousand troops to manage the evacuations of foreign citizens and vulnerable Afghans, but have stayed away from the outside areas of the airport.

“Our forces are maintaining strict distance from the outer areas of the Kabul airport to prevent any clashes with the Taliban,” the NATO official said.

A Taliban official said on Sunday that “we are seeking complete clarity on foreign forces’ exit plan.

“Managing chaos outside Kabul airport is a complex task,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told Reuters.


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