U.S. soldiers fire tear gas to control crowd at Kabul airporttext_fields
Kabul: A day after the Pentagon claimed to be restoring order at the international airport in Kabul, military personnel on Friday used tear gas and fired guns into the air as means of controlling the large and chaotic crowd, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Soldiers have also fired into the air to disperse the crowd, according to a senior Western official. It was unclear as to whether the soldiers were American. Afghan, British, and other Western troops are also stationed at the airport.
There was no immediate comment from the US military.
According to German military officials, getting people through Kabul, past the checkpoints, and inside the airport "has proven immensely difficult," per the Journal. The militant group is reportedly using the checkpoints to search for "key individuals from the ousted government."
Soldiers are also emerging from the airport and coming out into the perimeter, which is surrounded by Taliban, to disperse crowds and clear the way for families struggling to get in, videos clips taken by passengers show.
Thousands of Afghans are still pushing to get into the airport, following the Taliban's takeover on Sunday.
North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies and partners have evacuated nearly 20,000 people from Kabul airport since last weekend, according to public announcements by officials.
Overnight, 12 US Air Force C-17 jets removed 2,000 people from the region - an average of just 160 people per flight, despite the planes being able to carry 600 people - six fewer aircraft than in the previous 24 hours. Since August 14, the US has only removed 7,000 people in total from the region.
They'd promised to lift between 5,000 and 9,000 out per day and there are at least 50,000 waiting to be taken to safety.
President Biden has promised not to withdraw the military entirely while Americans remain on the ground. So far, the deadline for removal has been August 31.