As Taliban fighters patrol Kabul on Monday after a swift end to Afghanistan’s 20-year war, shocking visuals emerged of thousands of people mobbing the city’s airport in a bid to flee the group’s feared rule.
In one such horrific video that has since gone viral on social media, two people were seen falling off a giant plane that had reportedly taken off from Kabul minutes ago.
Locals near the Kabul airport told local media that they saw three men hiding next to the wheels of the aircraft and later falling on the rooftop of nearby houses.
Another video showed hundreds of people running alongside a US Air Force aircraft that was about to take off and a bunch of people sitting on the wings of the plane, trying to hold on to its body desperately.
There were desperate scenes at Kabul’s airport on Monday as people tried to board the few flights available. “We are afraid to live in this city,” a 25-year-old ex-soldier was quoted as saying by AFP as he stood among huge crowds on the tarmac.
“Since I served in the army, the Taliban would definitely target me.”
No evacuation flights are leaving Kabul airport at the moment because desperate people trying to flee the country are blocking the tarmac.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani flew out of the country on Sunday night as the insurgents encircled the capital, capping a military victory that saw them capture all cities in just 10 days. “The Taliban have won with the judgement of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honour, property and self-preservation of their countrymen,” Ghani said afterwards.
Government forces collapsed without the support of the US military, which invaded in 2001 after the September 11 attacks and toppled the Taliban for its support of Al-Qaeda.
After police and other government forces gave up their posts in Kabul on Sunday, Taliban fighters took over checkpoints across the city and entered the presidential palace.
Militants with rifles slung over their shoulders also walked through the streets of the Green Zone, the formerly heavily fortified district that houses most embassies and international organizations.