world
Monday Aug 16 2021
By
Web Desk

Video: Scenes of panic, chaos witnessed at Kabul airport after Taliban takeover

By
Web Desk
Scenes of panic witnessed at the Kabul airport on Monday morning. Photo: Twitter video screengrab
Scenes of panic witnessed at the Kabul airport on Monday morning. Photo: Twitter video screengrab

  • Hundreds gather at airport tarmac in Kabul to board flights out of Afghanistan. 
  • US soldiers have taken control of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul. 
  • Witnesses on social media complain about disruption at airport, say priority is being given to US airlifts. 


Scenes of panic and chaos were witnessed at the Kabul airport Sunday night and Monday, as a sea of people rushed towards the Hamid Karzai International Airport in a bid to catch flights out of the country after the Taliban takeover. 

After entering Kabul Sunday afternoon, the Taliban announced a general pardon and urged citizens not to leave the country out of fear and panic. 

However, several video clips went viral on social media in which thousands of Afghans can be seen running frantically towards the Kabul airport, in hopes to secure a flight out of the country. 

Award-winning journalist Ahmer Khan shared a video clip of the "sheer helplessness" at the Kabul airport. 

He tweeted another clip, showing the chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport as a sea of people rushed to board flights out of Afghanistan. 

Disclose.tv shared a video clip in which hundreds of Afghans can be seen rushing towards the airport amid the sound of gunshots in the air. 

Shots fired by US forces

Meanwhile, US forces fired in the air at Kabul's airport on Monday to prevent hundreds of civilians running onto the tarmac.

"The crowd was out of control," , a US official said told Reuters by phone. "The firing was only done to defuse the chaos."

US troops are in charge at the airport, helping in the evacuation of embassy staff and other civilians. 

AFP adds: The US lowered the flag on its embassy in Kabul and has relocated almost all staff to the airport, where US forces are taking over air traffic control, officials said Sunday.

"We are completing a series of steps to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of US and allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights," the Pentagon and State Department said in a joint statement.

"Almost all" personnel from the embassy have relocated to the airport including the acting ambassador, Ross Wilson, who remains in touch with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, a State Department spokesperson said.

"The American flag has been lowered from the US embassy compound and is now securely located with embassy staff," the spokesperson said.

The shuttering of the US embassy, which was one of the largest in the world, comes nearly 20 years after the United States returned following the defeat of the Taliban regime.