(Natural News) A stampede at the Kabul airport reportedly left five people dead as thousands stormed planes that were taking off, hoping desperately to flee Afghanistan. Terrifying scenes depicted men, women and children trying to make their way onto aircraft following the Taliban’s storming of Kabul. In the chaos, some people tried to climb up ladders to get on planes while others could be seen being pulled onto aircraft.
The drama ensued after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, which led to a quick takeover of the country by the Taliban.
Some reports claim that two individuals fell several hundred feet to their deaths after they were thrown from a C-17 transport plane that was taking off from the airport, while a witness reported seeing the bodies of five people being carried away. Although American troops who were guarding the airport had to fire shots into the air to disperse the crowd, the fatalities may have been crushed in the stampede.
Hundreds of people could be seen running behind the C-17 as it prepared to takeoff, trying desperately to get on board. At one point, a U.S. Apache helicopter had swooped down across the runway and attempted to clear people so that the plane could take off safely.
In other footage, U.S. embassy staff could be seen pulling each other into a plane as the ramp was being raised, while a different video showed more than a thousand citizens trying to get on board a Kam Air flight to Istanbul that could only accommodate 300 passengers. People nevertheless pushed and shoved as they tried to pass through the aisle of the plane.
NATO has announced that all commercial flights have been suspended from Kabul airport except for military aircraft. On Wednesday, a NATO official confirmed that a stampede at a gate to the Kabul airport injured 17 people as Western nations ramp up their diplomatic evacuation efforts.
An official working at the airport says that Afghan civilians who are seeking to leave since the Taliban took control of the capital on Sunday have been warned not to gather around the airport unless they possess a travel visa and passport.
More violence as Taliban breaks up protests
Meanwhile, one person was killed and six were wounded on Wednesday as the Taliban violently broke up a protest in the eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad. In video footage, gunshots can be heard ringing out as a crowd waves the Afghanistan flag; people can later be seen running away from the scene as the gunfire intensifies.
One local journalist told Fox News: “There was panic when the Taliban fired openly on people who ran away, some hid in streets and others went inside shops.”
He added that one Taliban group hit his camera and beat him with rifle boots, and another group later apologized to him.
The crowd had gathered in Jalalabad to raise their country’s flag on the eve of Afghanistan’s Independence Day, which marks the end of British rule in 1919. They also lowered the Taliban flag that had been raised by militants in captured areas.
Americans seeking to leave the country have to depend on the Taliban
The White House has said that they are hoping the Taliban will allow Americans evacuating the country to access the airport in Kabul.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said: “The Taliban have informed us that they are prepared to provide the safe passage of civilians to the airport, and we intend to hold them to that commitment.”
Unfortunately, there are still thousands of American civilians waiting to be evacuated from Afghanistan. Depending on a terrorist group to do the right thing rarely ends well, and even President Biden, who is not known for having a sharp mind, stated just six weeks ago when asked if he trusted the group, “No, I do not trust the Taliban.”
Sources for this article include: