Kabul, 22 August 2021 (dpa/MIA) – Seven Afghan civilians were killed in the chaotic crowds surrounding Kabul’s airport, the British Defence Ministry said on Sunday, as tens of thousands of people are desperately trying to flee the country as the Islamist Taliban take over.
“Conditions on the ground remain extremely challenging but we are doing everything we can to manage the situation as safely and securely as possible,” a Defence Ministry spokesman said in a statement, according to the British Press Association.
The deaths underline the desperation of many Afghans who either worked with international troops during the past two decades or work in areas such as human rights and are fearing for their lives, with many trying to get themselves or family members inside the airport.
A report compiled for the United Nations warned that the Taliban is conducting targeted searches for supposed collaborators with the ousted government, despite assurances by the radical Islamist group that it would not carry out reprisals.
Troops from many countries, including the United States, Germany, Britain and Turkey, are carrying out simultaneous evacuation operations from the airport.
US forces reported on Saturday that they had flown about 17,000 people out of Kabul in the last week, while the German army said more than 2,130 people have been pulled out of Kabul in the meantime.
The window of opportunity for getting evacuated out of Kabul is shrinking due to the United States’ deadline to complete the withdrawal of its troops by August 31. Other countries rushing to evacuate their citizens in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover depend on the support and security provided by US forces.