Three stowaways ‘fall to their deaths from plane’ and five are killed at airport as increasingly desperate Afghans climb on MOVING US Air Force jet as they flee from Taliban: All US Embassy staff have now been evacuated
Three stowaways are believed to have plunged to their deaths, with footage showing bodies falling from the underside of a hulking USAF transport jet as it climbed into the skies over the fallen city on Monday. Further images later showed mutilated corpses strewn across a rooftop.
Separate video showed hundreds chasing after a USAF C-17 transport jet as it hurtled down the runway, and other pictures showed a crowd darting beneath another American jet as it prepared for takeoff at Hamid Karzai International Airport.
U.S. soldiers earlier fired warning shots into the air to deter people from forcing their way onto a plane that was due to evacuate American diplomats and embassy staff out of the fallen city.
‘The crowd was out of control,’ a U.S. official told Reuters. ‘The firing was only done to defuse the chaos.’
One witness, waiting for a flight out for more than 20 hours, said it was unclear if the five had been shot or killed in a stampede.
Joe Biden has yet to speak publicly about the humiliating foreign policy disaster which looks set to become a defining feature of his legacy.
The President blamed Donald Trump for the calamity in a statement on Saturday, which was condemned in a Wall Street Journal Op-Ed as ‘one of the most shameful in history by a Commander in Chief at such a moment of American retreat.’
The chaos, reminiscent of the evacuation from Saigon in 1975, comes after the Taliban declared victory from the presidential palace on Sunday following a blistering advance across the country after a hasty U.S. retreat.
One of the terror chieftains claimed proudly, ‘Praise God, I was in Guantanamo for eight years’, as he sat at the president’s table surrounded by henchmen strapped with AK-47s.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday that the U.S. decision to withdraw had ‘accelerated’ the crisis that risked creating ‘a breeding ground for terror.’
However, the Taliban has been on a charm offensive, pledging that no harm will come to any foreign citizens or embassy staff as it seeks formal recognition from the international community.
Almost all major checkpoints in Kabul were under Taliban control by Monday morning and Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority issued an advisory saying the ‘civilian side’ of the airport had been ‘closed until further notice’ and that the military controlled the airspace.
Taliban officials said everyone would be allowed to return home from Kabul airport if they decide to stay in the country and promised civilians would not be harmed. The group previously said westerners would be allowed to leave the country but that Afghans would be barred from departing.
US troops are guarding the airport and have taken over air traffic control, but all non-military flights are grounded. Early Monday morning, flight-tracking data showed no immediate commercial flights over the country.
The last U.S. officials were flying out of the country today as:
- Taliban fighters were seen patrolling the streets of Kabul as thousands of hopeful Afghans gathered on the runway at Hamid Karzai airport trying desperately to escape from Afghanistan;
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel said troops would be deployed to Afghanistan to evacuate German citizens and Afghans in danger from the Taliban;
- The US ambassador and embassy staff fled Afghanistan after Taliban forces stormed Kabul;
- President Biden ordered about 5,000 troops to help evacuate US staff ‘and other allied personnel’;
- PM Boris Johnson said said the US decision to withdraw from Afghanistan had ‘accelerated’ the crisis;
- British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was forced to return to the UK from his holiday abroad;
- Tory MPs called fallout from Anglo-US withdrawal ‘Britain’s worst foreign policy disaster since Suez’;
- MPs are expected to to vent their anger and frustration when they return to Westminster on Wednesday for an emergency recall of Parliament to discuss the crisis;
- President Biden defended the withdrawal of US troops and blamed his predecessor Donald Trump for a deal that left the warlords ‘in the strongest position militarily since 2001’;
- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted the scene in Afghanistan is not comparable to the fall of Saigon as he diverted blame for the Taliban takeover on Republicans.
Three stowaways are believed to have plunged to their deaths, with footage showing bodies falling from the underside of a hulking USAF transport jet as it climbed into the skies over the fallen city on Monday.
Footage from Hamad Karzai airport showed hundreds of people running alongside – and in front of – a US Air Force plane preparing to take off
Thousands of civilians rush towards one of the last military planes leaving Kabul (left) the airport was teeming with desperate civilians trying to flee the Taliban (right)
Footage published by Afghan outlet Aśvaka showed three stowaways falling to the deaths after clinging on to the wheels of a military plane as it took off from Kabul airport
Video posted later appeared to show residents collecting the bodies of three stowaways, who reportedly fell from an airborne plane, from a roof in Kabul
Footage showed desperate Afghans trying to climb onto grounded planes at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai airport after the Taliban swept the city
Desperate Afghan civilians attempt to clamber over the barbed wire-topped wall into Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday
Men climb over a wall into Hamid Karzai International Airport in scenes reminiscent of the chaos in Saigon in 1975
Desperate civilians try and get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Monday after the Taliban took over the country
A father leads his family towards the airport as crowds of people try to escape Afghanistan on Monday
US troops are guarding the airport and have taken over air traffic control, but all non-military flights are grounded. Soldiers fired warning shots in the air to prevent hundreds of civilians running onto the tarmac, a US official said
US troops fired shots into the air at Kabul airport today as desperate Afghans climbed up the outside of airbridges trying to flee as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan
Video posted social media showed hundreds of people trying to climb the outside of airbridges to board commercial liners grounded in Hamad Karzai airport
At least five people have been killed at Kabul airport as thousands of people tried desperately to get on flights out of Afghanistan amid increasingly chaotic scenes. Witnesses said it was not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede
US troops fired shots in the air at Hama Karzai airport to prevent hundreds of civilians running onto the tarmac after they took control of the airport in Kabul and the country’s air traffic control
US troops are guarding the airport and have taken over air traffic control, but all non-military flights are grounded. Early Monday morning, flight-tracking data showed no immediate commercial flights over the country even as thousands of Afghans flooded Kabul airport
The US Embassy has been evacuated and the American flag lowered, with diplomats relocating to the airport in scenes reminiscent of the evacuation of the embassy of Saigon in 1975. Other Western countries have also closed their missions and are flying out staff and civilians after the Taliban walked into Kabul’s presidential palace
In a stunning rout, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week, despite the billions of dollars spent by the US and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces