Chaos at Kabul airport: at least 7 more dead among civilians reported

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At least seven civilians were reportedly killed at the international airport in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Sunday, according to reports.

News of the deaths came from the UK Ministry of Defense, which described the security conditions at the airport as “extremely difficult,” according to the Associated Press.

Details of how the deaths occurred and the identity of the victims were not disclosed.

In total, at least 12 people have been killed at or near the airport over the past week, either by gunfire or by a fleeing crowd, NATO and Taliban officials said, according to Reuters. It was not clear whether that figure included the seven deaths reported by the UK Ministry of Defense.

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The airport has become the focal point for tens of thousands of people trying to leave Afghanistan since the Taliban took control of the country last weekend. Those attempting to flee include American citizens as well as Afghans who have assisted the United States during the last two decades of American involvement in the country.

Hundreds of people gather near a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan on Monday, August 16, 2021 (Associated Press)
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Hundreds of people gather near a US Air Force C-17 transport plane at the perimeter of Kabul International Airport in Afghanistan on Monday, August 16, 2021 (Associated Press)

Also on Sunday, a flight carrying 168 people left Kabul Airport for New Delhi, India, the AP reported.

The passengers included 107 Indian nationals and others whose nationality was not specified, according to Arindam Bagchi, spokesman for the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A separate flight carrying 87 Indian nationals and two Nepalese nationals left Kabul on Saturday for Tajikistan, Baghi said, according to the AP.

Closed doors

Meanwhile, a source told Fox News earlier Sunday that the airport gates have been closed, even to those carrying valid documents.

“All doors are closed at the entrance even with papers,” the source said. “No food, no water. It’s a slow burn towards a very bad situation.

“All doors are closed for entry, even with papers. No food, no water. It’s a slow burn towards a very bad situation.”

– A source speaking to Fox News

“We just can’t believe how incompetent our leadership is,” the source continued. “They have no appreciation for what it takes to get Afghans with visas to even get to the door.”

The incidents at the airport may be due to attempts by the Taliban to try to impose order at the airport, where chaos has reigned for several days.

Taliban have been seen trying to get people to form neat lines and prevent crowds from forming around the perimeter of the airport, Reuters reported.

The US military also maintained a presence at the airport, with around 5,800 troops still there, according to Army Maj. Gen. William Taylor, Reuters reported.

Long hours, no food

A second source who spoke to Fox News – an American mum trapped by the Taliban who requested anonymity – shared her account of the conditions at the airport.

She spoke of people she knew, some traveling with children, who spent long hours at the airport – in some cases with little or no access to food.

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She said they were encouraged by US soldiers to wait for delays before they could board flights from Kabul.

“I still have, you know, some of my people there who work for us. They’ve been given all these letters to apply for SIV (special immigrant visa),” she said. “And I am… and I have been in contact with some of them. They went through the airport. They managed to turn on their phones and they showed me the chaos that was going on there.

“They went through the airport. They managed to turn on their phones and they showed me the chaos going on there.”

– American mom in Kabul

“And they stay outside the airport for more than three days. Most of them have kids, you know, under four years old. So they went through the airport check and entered. in the airport, but they were there three days They have no food You have no water You have small children who need milk.

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“So after staying inside the Karzai, you know, the KIA (Kabul International Airport), which is now HKIA (Hamid Karzai International Airport), they had to leave. … He told me that the American soldiers said, “Look, you’re almost there if you can stay another 24 hours where you might have a chance to board a plane.”

But the lack of food, especially for children, she said, made it difficult for any choice to stay at the airport, she said.

Shannon Bream of Fox News, Michael Ruiz and Sara Ballou and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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