Videos emerging on social media over the past 24 hours show people at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul rushing the tarmac and dangling from the stairs of loaded planes trying to board evacuation flights amid a collapse of the Afghanistan government.
The Associated Press reports seven people died at the Kabul airport in the chaos, including some who fell from a departing American military transport jet.
Gunfire can be heard in some of the videos on social media, and in others, people can be seen hanging on to moving planes on the tarmac.
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One video appears to show two people falling after holding on to a plane as it took off.
The terrifying images come after Taliban fighters took over the country on Sunday, leading to panic as thousands tried to flee.
In video images, hundreds of people run with a U.S. Air Force plane as it starts heading down the runway. Some people are seen hanging on to the front wheel and side doors of the aircraft.
Kabul Airport runway today. No words needed
Kabul Airport runway today. No words needed. pic.twitter.com/8SfzEOprUZ
— Shiv Aroor (@ShivAroor) August 16, 2021
In this video, hundreds are seen running on the tarmac while a plane sits motionless in the background.
— Wajahat Kazmi (@KazmiWajahat) August 16, 2021
Gunfire can be heard in another video as hundreds stand on the tarmac waiting for their chance to flee.
Firing at the Kabul airport. Taliban are barely 100 meters away and stopping people from entering the airport. Hundreds of people are sitting at the runway refusing to leave in the hope of flying out of the hell. (Video+Info) via local sources pic.twitter.com/iPt5N6ilx3
— Sudhir Chaudhary (@sudhirchaudhary) August 16, 2021
As of Monday morning, Reuters reported five deaths at the airport, according to witnesses.
U.S. forces are working to get thousands of Americans and Afghans out of the country, and President Joe Biden authorized 6,000 troops to return to the country to help with the evacuation.
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Jonathan Finer, a deputy White House national security adviser, told MSNBC on Monday that U.S. forces were working to secure the airport.
“There should be sufficient forces to be able to provide security for the airport so again we can return those civilian evacuation flights for American citizens who happen to be in Afghanistan, for Afghans who worked alongside us over the past 20 years, for other Afghans who are particularly vulnerable, activists and others,” he said.
“All of that requires the airport to be secure, frankly.”