US troops fire shots in the air at Kabul airport as crowd mobs tarmac

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US troops fired shots into the air at Kabul airport on Monday (Aug 16) as thousands of Afghans crowded onto the tarmac in the hope of catching a flight out of the country after the Taliban takeover of the country.

“The crowd was out of control,” the official told Reuters by phone. “The firing was only done to defuse the chaos.”

The US military secured the perimeter of Kabul airport on Sunday, with its troops in charge at the airport, helping in the evacuation of embassy staff and other civilians.

Hundreds of Afghans have crowded the airport trying to get out of the country after Taliban insurgents entered the capital.

Commercial flights set to land in Afghanistan have been affected by the chaos on the ground.

Emirates has suspended flights to Kabul until further notice, the airline said on its website. Flight-tracking website FlightRadar24 showed few commercial flights over Afghanistan at 0300 GMT on Monday but many planes overflying neighbouring Pakistan and Iran.

More than 60 western countries, including the United States, Britain, France and Japan, have issued a joint statement saying all Afghans and international citizens who wanted to leave the country must be allowed to depart.



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