Return of the Taliban unleashes chaos at Kabul airport

The Taliban’s triumph after two decades of war in Afghanistan has unleashed real chaos at Kabul airport, where at least six people have died according to several witnesses. Thousands of desperate people were trying to flee the country by boarding repatriation flights. The situation at the airport in the Afghan capital got so bad that all flights, civil and military, had to be suspended for several hours. Kabul awoke on Monday to a tense, almost empty calm of women, who remained in their homes in fear of the return of a Taliban regime. remembered for the brutality of its punishments and for the oppression of the female gender.

The Afghan capital fell into Taliban hands on Sunday, without any resistance from national forces. and after having gained control of nearly every province in the country in just over a week, an unprecedented advance driven by the final phase of withdrawal of US and NATO troops on May 1st. the mullah Baradar Akhun, head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, declared early this Monday the end of the war with the triumph of the insurgents.

“We have achieved an unexpected victory. We must show humility before Allah.”Akhund said in a video that it was considered the first public statement by a Taliban leader after the country’s conquest. The mullah, the name by which people with extensive knowledge of the Koran are identified, guaranteed that the Taliban will try to see “How we serve and protect our people and how we secure their future to provide a good life to the best of our ability”.

first day in kabul

In Kabul, Afghans tried to get on with their lives under the new regime while the streets were silent and insurgents patrolled a city with no women in sight.. Armed Taliban patrolled the capital during the day and set up several checkpoints. They were also in charge of lowering each of the Afghan flags they found in their path. On Twitter accounts that are favorable to them, they are proud of having been well received in the country’s capital. They also indicated that thousands of fighters were arriving in the capital to ensure security.

Kabul has not been safe for years, especially last year, with almost daily explosions and targeted killings. The Taliban “are here for the safety of the people to prevent looting,” said Ajmal, a fighter who patrols the streets and, like many others, is recognizable for his traditional beard, long hair and pakol, the traditional Afghan hat.

Radio stations, which are one of the main achievements of Afghans and who fear losing with the return of the Taliban, still broadcast their programs normallyand the state television sports channel broadcast cricket and football. The Tolo news channel also assured that the Taliban entered its headquarters in Kabul, “checked the weapons of security personnel, collected the weapons that were handed over by the government and agreed to keep the complex safe.”

chaos at the airport

Kabul’s fall, which ended Sunday night after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country, has sparked a wave of thousands of civilians flocking to the local airport with the sole aim of saving their lives. most were desperate people who got carried away by the idea that the United States, which is evacuating its people from the country, would also allow the removal of any Afghan.

I heard last night that three planes evacuated people who didn’t have a passport or visa, so several of my friends and I came to the airport in the morning and stayed there for hours. ” before returning home without success, he said from the place Tamim Ansar. Others went further, invading the runways so that the repatriation planes wouldn’t leave the country without them.

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the disorder lived in the airport resulted in the death of at the hands of six people, as reported by several eyewitnesses. “I saw three civilians and one Taliban fighter killed in the shootout between Taliban and US forces”, he claimed mirwais yusufi, a witness to the events who was also trying to leave the country. Yusufi explained that after a Taliban ordered several Afghan civilians to leave the airport and they refused, the insurgent shot them, prompting a response from US forces.

The other two deceased died after falling from a US force plane they managed to board before taking off from the airport.. One of those who fell from the aircraft was Fida Muhammad, a 22-year-old dentist living in Kabul province, according to Ahmad, a close relative: “He left home to work, but we found out hours after he died when he fell off the plane. ”

International companies suspended overflight of the country at the request of Afghanistan, to leave the airspace free for the military in charge of the evacuations. In the early hours of Tuesday, the airport in Kabul returned to normal operation.

The uncertainty of the Afghans

Many in Afghanistan fear the worst-case scenario, especially after the Taliban released thousands of prisoners. In addition, it follows the memory the ultra-strict version of Islamic law that the Taliban applied when they ruled the country between 1996 and 2001. The Taliban promised that if they returned to power, they would respect human rights, particularly women’s, in accordance with “Islamic values”.

For aisha khurram, 22, who represented Afghan youth at the United Nations and was due to graduate from the University of Kabul in the coming months, the Taliban victory on Sunday “shattered our souls and our minds”.

The disaster is total for the Afghan security forces, financed for 20 years with hundreds of billions of US dollars. The radical Islamic movement launched an offensive in May, after the beginning of the withdrawal of foreign troops, mainly Americans. Within ten days they took control of the country, twenty years after being expelled by a US-led coalition for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

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