Kabul airport chaos stalls evacuations amid criticism of U.S. pullout

Kabul airport chaos stalls evacuations amid criticism of U.S. pullout

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KABUL — 1000’s of civilians determined to flee Afghanistan thronged Kabul airport on Monday after the Taliban seized the capital, prompting the U.S. navy to droop evacuations as america got here below mounting criticism at dwelling over its pullout.

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Crowds converged on the airport searching for to flee, together with some clinging to a U.S. navy transport airplane because it taxied on the runway, in response to footage posted by a media firm. 5 individuals had been killed within the chaos.

The Taliban’s fast conquest of Kabul follows the U.S. withdrawal of troops after 20 years of struggle that price billions of {dollars}.

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President Joe Biden defended his determination to tug out, ending america’ longest struggle, arguing that Afghan forces needed to struggle again in opposition to the Islamist Taliban.

However the velocity at which Afghan cities fell in simply days and the possible crackdowns on freedom of speech and ladies’s rights gained in 20 years have sparked indignant criticism.

“If President Biden actually has no regrets about his determination to withdraw, then he’s disconnected from actuality in terms of Afghanistan,” a Twitter publish from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham learn.

Republican Consultant Jim Banks, a member of the Home armed providers committee, stated on Fox Information that Biden ought to clarify his actions to the American individuals.

“What was extra surprising to me than the pictures popping out of Afghanistan is what’s taking place proper right here at dwelling,” he stated.

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“We’ve by no means seen an American chief abdicate his duties and management like Joe Biden has. He’s in hiding. The lights are on on the White Home, however no person’s dwelling. The place is Joe Biden?”

Women with their children try to get inside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
Ladies with their youngsters attempt to get inside Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

Jim Messina, a White Home deputy chief of workers below former President Barack Obama, defended Biden’s transfer.

“There’s been bipartisan consensus that it was time to get out of Afghanistan, Mike Pompeo, the previous Secretary of State, stated earlier this month he supported Biden’s plan, and we’ve been there 20 years. It’s America’s longest-running struggle, it’s time to get out,” he stated on Fox.

“Why ought to American troops be combating a civil struggle that Afghan troops this week refused to struggle for themselves, it was time to get out.”

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AIRPORT CHAOS

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled on Sunday because the Islamist militants entered Kabul nearly unopposed, saying he needed to keep away from bloodshed.

The US and different overseas powers have rushed to fly out diplomatic and different workers however america briefly halted all evacuation flights to clear individuals from the airfield, a U.S. defence official instructed Reuters.

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The official, talking on the situation of anonymity, didn’t say how lengthy the pause would final.

It was not instantly clear how the 5 individuals died on the airport. A U.S. official stated troops had fired within the air to discourage individuals attempting to drive their approach on to a navy flight taking U.S diplomats and embassy workers out of the town.

One witness, ready for a flight out for greater than 20 hours, stated it was unclear if the 5 had been shot or killed in a stampede. U.S. officers on the airport weren’t instantly out there for remark.

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‘NO ONE SHALL BE HARMED’

Suhail Shaheen, a spokesperson for the Taliban, stated in a message on Twitter that their fighters had been below strict orders to not hurt anybody.

“Life, property and honor of nobody shall be harmed however have to be protected by the mujahideen,” he stated.

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It took the Taliban simply over every week to grab management of the entire nation after a lightning sweep that resulted in Kabul as authorities forces, skilled for years and geared up by america and others at a price of billions of {dollars}, melted away.

A man pulls a girl to get inside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
A person pulls a lady to get inside Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

U.S. officers had lengthy nervous that corruption would undermine the resolve of badly paid, ill-fed and erratically provided front-line troopers.

Al Jazeera broadcast footage of what it stated had been Taliban commanders within the presidential palace with dozens of fighters.

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Mohammad Naeem, spokesman for the Taliban’s political workplace, instructed Al Jazeera TV the type of Afghanistan’s new authorities could be made clear quickly. He stated the Taliban didn’t wish to stay in isolation and referred to as for peaceable worldwide relations.

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The militants sought to mission a extra average face, promising to respect girls’s rights and shield each foreigners and Afghans.

However many Afghans worry the Taliban will return to previous harsh practices. Throughout their 1996-2001 rule, girls couldn’t work and punishments similar to public stoning, whipping and hanging had been administered.

“Everyone seems to be nervous,” a former authorities worker now in hiding in Kabul stated. “They’re not focusing on individuals but however they may, that’s the fact. Possibly in two or three weeks, that’s why persons are combating to get out now.”

People try to get into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021.
Folks attempt to get into Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021.

Each the United Nations and america stated final week that they had obtained reviews that Taliban fighters had been executing surrendering authorities troopers.

The Pentagon on Sunday approved one other 1,000 troops to assist evacuate U.S. residents and Afghans who labored for them, increasing its safety presence on the bottom to nearly 6,000 troops.

A U.S. State Division spokesperson stated that each one embassy personnel, together with Ambassador Ross Wilson, had been transferred to Kabul airport.

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