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  4. Afghan security force member killed as gunfight erupts at Kabul airport

Afghan security force member killed as gunfight erupts at Kabul airport

Anti-Taliban fighters claimed to have seized three mountainous districts, and a prominent militia commander in the only province not yet under Taliban control pledged to fight back if attacked.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
New Delhi Updated on: August 23, 2021 11:42 IST
kabul airport
Image Source : AP/REPRESENTATIVE

Hungarian coalition forces escort evacuees to a Hungarian Air Force plane at Hamid Karzai International Airport, in Kabul

One Afghan security force member was killed, while three others were injured after a gunfight erupted at Kabul airport on Monday. According to a statement by Germany's armed forces, the firefight broke out between unidentified gunmen, Western security forces and Afghan guards at the North Gate of Kabul airport, when thousands were trying to flee the country. 

Earlier on Sunday, at least seven Afghans died after people tried to enter Kabul’s international airport. The incident was reported as thousands were still trying to flee the country in a chaotic exodus a week after the Taliban takeover.

The Taliban moved to confront the first stirrings of armed resistance since capturing nearly all of Afghanistan in a matter of days earlier this month. 

Anti-Taliban fighters claimed to have seized three mountainous districts, and a prominent militia commander in the only province not yet under Taliban control pledged to fight back if attacked.

The British military on Sunday acknowledged at least seven deaths at the airport. Others may have been trampled, suffocated or suffered heart attacks as Taliban fighters fired into the air to try to drive back the crowds. 

Soldiers covered several corpses in white clothing. 

Other troops stood on concrete barriers, trying to calm the crowd.

Kabul’s airport, now one of the only routes out of the country, has seen days of chaos since the Taliban entered the capital on August 15. Thousands poured onto the tarmac last week, and several Afghans plunged to their deaths after clinging to a US military cargo plane as it took off, some of the seven killed on August 16.

The Taliban have pledged amnesty to those who worked with the US, NATO and the toppled Afghan government, but many Afghans still fear revenge attacks. 

There have been reports in recent days of the Taliban hunting down their former enemies. It’s unclear if Taliban leaders are saying one thing and doing another, or if fighters are taking matters into their own hands.

Outside the airport on Saturday, Western troops in full combat gear tried to control crowds big enough to be seen in satellite photos. They carried away some who were sweating and pale. 

With temperatures reaching 34 degrees Celsius (93 F), the soldiers sprayed water from a hose on those gathered and gave out bottled water.

“The situation at Kabul airport remains extremely challenging and unpredictable,” a NATO official said on condition of anonymity in keeping with regulations. The official was not able to confirm a precise number of casualties.

The US Embassy, which has relocated to the military side of the airport, has told American citizens and others not to come to the airport until they receive precise instructions.

Also Read | Taliban extends amnesty to Ashraf Ghani

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