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‘At least five dead’ amid Kabul airport chaos, witnesses say

‘At least five dead’ amid Kabul airport chaos, witnesses say
At least five people died at Kabul airport as hundreds of people tried to forcibly board evacuation flights, witnesses have said.

At least five people died at Kabul airport as hundreds of people tried to forcibly board evacuation flights, witnesses have said.

One eyewitness told Reuters on Monday that they had seen five bodies being carried away, while another said it was unclear how the victims had died.

Repeated gunshots can be heard in some videos taken at the airport, while others show crowds of people squeezing up ramps, desperate to get a seat on a plane.

This comes after the Taliban swept into Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday, shortly after president Ashraf Ghani fled the country to an undisclosed location, thought to be Tajikistan.

In the ensuing chaos, thousands of Afghans headed to the airport in the hope of catching a flight abroad. US troops, who control the airport, later fired warning shots to break up the crowds, a US official confirmed.

American diplomats were airlifted from the US embassy to the airport by helicopter, ahead of their withdrawal from the country.

Spain and Italy were among the countries sending military aircraft to evacuate their embassy staff and other citizens. “We have transported all the embassy staff as well as protection crews to the airport,” Spanish interior minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska said.

While the evacuation of diplomats continues, the “civilian side” of the airport is now “closed until further notice”, Afghanistan’s Civil Aviation Authority said in a statement on Monday.

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