Thousands of people were still crowding around Kabul airport on Wednesday morning in the hope of getting on an evacuation flight out of Afghanistan, videos on social media showed. Video footage showed hundreds of Afghans waiting in a moat outside the airport grounds some standing in water up to their waists. One man was seen […]
Thousands of people were still crowding around Kabul airport on Wednesday morning in the hope of getting on an evacuation flight out of Afghanistan, videos on social media showed.
Video footage showed hundreds of Afghans waiting in a moat outside the airport grounds some standing in water up to their waists.
One man was seen on video climbing up the wall of the moat but was pushed back by two soldiers.
Countries have started to pick up their evacuees from other locations and bring them into the airport due to the chaotic situation around the airport entrances.
Two people on a U.S. evacuation list said they were called to a location in the city and taken from there to the airport in an armoured convoy.
A week and a half after the Taliban takeover of Kabul, the window of opportunity for military evacuations out of Afghanistan was closing fast.
U.S. President Joe Biden was sticking to plans for the withdrawal of U.S. troops to finish by Aug. 31, and was not swayed by pleas from European allies on Tuesday to allow more time for evacuations from Kabul airport.
Earlier this year, NATO allies said they would follow the U.S. lead in ending their operations in Afghanistan.
With the U.S. troops leaving Kabul airport, and with the Taliban in charge of the country, the safety of the facility cannot be guaranteed for further evacuations.
A Taliban spokesman clarified when asked by dpa that Afghans without documents authorising them to leave would not be allowed to gather near the airport.
The U.S. evacuation was on a pace to finish by Aug. 31,’’ Biden insisted on Tuesday evening.
Germany’s foreign minister, however, had earlier said there would not be enough time to fly out everyone in need.
A letter sent by the German embassy in Kabul to their citizens in Afghanistan said Germany was still planning Bundeswehr evacuation flights as well as flights from Kabul to other countries run by allies.
Further concrete measures to facilitate the departure were also being examined, the embassy wrote.
Diplomatic sources have hinted in recent days that once the evacuation flights have ceased, those still needing to be evacuated may be able to leave Afghanistan by land and then flown to Europe from one of its neighbouring countries.
Both borders crossings to Pakistan were currently open but Afghans need visas to enter.