Scores of stranded Afghans anxiously await at gates of Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul; 5 reportedly died.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – Flights were suspended at Afghanistan’s main international airport in Kabul on Monday as crowds of people anxiously waited at its gates in hopes of leaving the country.
A day after Afghanistan’s capital fell to the Taliban, US and Afghan forces surrounded the airport, along with Taliban fighters, as gunshots were fired into the air to disperse the crowd.
The media office of Hamid Karzai International Airport said in a statement that all civilian flights from the airport had been suspended. The statement called on the public not to “invade the square” and to “prevent looting.”
Official sources told Anadolu Agency that US forces are in control of the facility.
The Taliban, for their part, urged people gathered at the airport to “go home.” Taliban leaders at the site announced that “civilians will not be harmed.”
The local Salam Afghanistan reported that at least five people lost their lives amid the chaos and gunfire.
Anadolu Agency correspondents on site said multiple people were wounded following firing around the airport.
There was no confirmation, as official sources did not respond to calls.
Taliban says it arrested ‘wayward’ militants
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Twitter: “The Islamic Emirate (Taliban) has ordered its Mujahideen and once again instructs them that no one is allowed to enter anyone’s house without permission. Life, property, and no one’s honor shall be harmed but must be protected by the Mujahedeen.”
Later in the day, following reports of extortion, the Taliban vowed to bring order and claimed arrests of multiple suspects.
“Of those ‘wayward individuals’ involved in misconduct and troubles, many were arrested. No one has permission to go to former officials’ residence, demand vehicles, and threaten them,” said the group in a statement.
Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission has appealed for urgent humanitarian rescue and relief for thousands of war-displaced Afghans stranded in various parts of the country.
It said numerous displaced urgently need food, aid, and shelter.
“Given such a difficult situation, the Human Rights Commission calls for more and more serious attention by the government, the international community, and domestic and international aid agencies in order to meet the urgent needs and needs of the displaced. One of the lasting harms of war is the displacement of more children and their deprivation of education,” said the commission.