Wednesday 9/29/21
AFGHANISTAN

Hundreds of Afghans camp out at Kabul airport in hopes of getting out

False rumours that everyone who makes it to the airport will be evacuated prompted many Afghans to head to the area
17 August 2021, Afghanistan, Kabul: Australian citizens sit inside a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) C-130 Hercules aircraft. The first Australian Defence Force evacuation flight has departed Kabul from Hamid Karzai International Airport with 26 evacuees on board. Photo: -/AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE via AAP/dpa
The first Australian Defence Force evacuation flight has departed from Kabul with 26 evacuees on board. Photo: Australian Defence Force.

Hundreds of people are camping out around Kabul's airport with the hope of being able to leave Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover, eyewitnesses told on Wednesday.

Men, women and children were seen sleeping on the nearby streets.

False rumours that everyone who makes it to the airport will be evacuated prompted many Afghans to head to the area. They are trying to get to the site by scaling blast walls or by taking other routes.

It was unclear on Wednesday whether commercial flights would be operating. The airport is currently only in limited operation.

Many Western countries are running evacuation flights for their own citizens and local staff who could be targeted by the Taliban.

Germany is planning four evacuation flights from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan for Wednesday and has managed to bring 400 people to safety so far, while France has now flown out most of the people who had taken refuge from the Taliban at the French embassy building.

Access points

Italy wants to set up an airlift, with its first plane with 85 people aboard set to land in Rome on Wednesday, said the Defence Ministry.

The US military is said to decide on opening or closing certain access points to the airport by taking the situation into account.

The Taliban brutally ruled Afghanistan for about five years at the end of the 20th century, imposing their ultraconservative Islamic views. US-backed forces ousted them in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Many who experienced that time are unwilling to take their chances and have desperately sought to escape the country.

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