Kabul (AP) – After Kabul was taken over by the militant Islamist Taliban, dramatic scenes unfolded at the airport in the Afghan capital.
Desperate people tried to get on flights, as evidenced by videos and photos shared on social media. Among other things, they climbed turntable ladders to get on an airplane. Afghans without a passport also tried their luck, residents reported Monday.
In Kabul, there were mainly horror shots of people falling from a military plane from a great height. It was suspected that they were hiding in the undercarriage of the machine or simply clinging to the plane. This information has not yet been independently verified.
Desperate people cling to a taxiing plane
A man who lives near the airport wrote to the German news agency on Facebook that one of these people fell on a neighboring roof. It crashed like there was an explosion. He shared photos and videos of the body and wrote that three other men had been found nearby. Another video reportedly shows dozens of people walking next to a moving US military machine at Kabul airport. Some climb on the plane and cling to it.
In recent weeks after the withdrawal of foreign troops, including the Bundeswehr, the Taliban had taken virtually all provincial capitals at breakneck speed – many without a fight. They also entered Kabul on Sunday. There were no fights.
Hundreds or perhaps thousands of people had left for the airport since Sunday to leave the country. However, the German embassy warned not to go there uninvited. This can be dangerous.
On Sunday, there were also the first unconfirmed reports that people had died at the airport. Before that, it had been said that American soldiers guarding the airport fired warning shots.
Taliban occupy police stations in Kabul
The situation in the city of Kabul itself was tense on Monday, but initially calm. The Taliban occupied police stations and other government buildings across Kabul, residents of the German news agency reported. Armed fighters drove through the city in army and police cars, as well as in other government vehicles. At the same time, they set up additional checkpoints in some streets.
After the Taliban comes to power, talks would take place between politicians and representatives of the Islamists. A spokesman for former President Hamid Karzai of the German news agency announced this on Monday. In a first step, it was emphasized that the life and property of the population and public infrastructure must be protected, the spokesman said.
Germany, like other western states, began to fly its citizens out of the Afghan capital. According to information from the German News Agency, 40 employees of the German embassy landed on an American plane in Doha in the emirate of the Gulf of Qatar on Monday evening. A few hours later in the morning, the first three military aircraft of the Bundeswehr with paratroopers on board departed for Kabul. You must secure the evacuation.
Huge anger at the fugitive president
Many Afghans openly expressed their outrage against refugee president Ashraf Ghani on social media. Singer Sedika Madadgar wrote on Facebook that he had devastated Afghanistan, thousands of children were now fatherless, deprived the country of all security and handed over to the enemy. He will go down in history as the “dirtiest animal” in the history of Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden found himself in the crossfire of leading Republicans after the rapid advance of the Taliban. The “failed withdrawal” from Afghanistan and the “frantic evacuation” of Americans and Afghan aid workers was an “embarrassing failure of US leadership,” said Republican minority leader in the US Senate, Mitch McConnell. The US would have had a chance to “avoid this catastrophe”.
On paper, the Taliban were inferior to the Afghan armed forces. It is estimated that about 300,000 police and military personnel were confronted by about 60,000 less well-equipped Taliban fighters. However, these take advantage of their brutal reputation, which they acquired during their rule in the 1990s with public executions or flogging.
They surrendered many security forces through psychological warfare and the use of social media. Elsewhere, local politicians, elders and tribal leaders agreed to surrender with the Taliban over the security forces.
During their reign from 1996 to 2001, the insurgents carried out their ideas with draconian penalties before US troops entered Afghanistan. They had given shelter in the country to the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001 attacks, Al Qaeda boss Osama bin Laden.