5 killed amid reports of gunfire at Kabul Airport as Taliban takeover causes panic among Afghans

by International | 16-08-2021 | 718 views

Kabul (Afghanistan): At least five people lost their lives at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul on Monday after hundreds of Afghans stormed into the area to board planes as Taliban captured the capital city of the country, reported Reuters quoting eyewitnesses.

One of the witnesses told Reuters that the bodies of five people were being taken to a vehicle. However, another witness said that it was not clear whether the victims were killed by gunshots or in a stampede.

Earlier in the day, the United States (US) troops stationed at the Kabul Airport were forced to fire shots in the air after hundreds of people tried to board plans. "The crowd was out of control. The firing was only done to defuse the chaos," Reuters quoted an official as saying.

"There will be no commercial flights from Hamid Karzai Airport to prevent looting and plundering. Please do not rush to the airport," said the Kabul Airport Authority in a statement, as reported by AFP.

Meanwhile, Taliban officials have said that peace prevailed across Afghanistan on Monday. Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban's political office, has also said that the form of the new regime in Afghanistan would be made clear soon.

"We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people," he said. "We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others".

Videos and pictures have also gone viral on social media where hundreds of people could be seen at the Kabul Airport. However, officials have said that all commercial flights have been suspended at the airport.

Many Afghans fear the Taliban will return to past harsh practices in their imposition of sharia religious law. During their 1996-2001 rule, women could not work and punishments such as stoning, whipping and hanging were administered. Both the United Nations and the US said last week they had received reports that Taliban fighters were executing surrendering government soldiers.

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