Scenes of chaos and despair are repeated at Kabul International Airport as people try to flee Afghanistan after Taliban fighters entered the capital and President Ashraf Ghani left the country.
“It took me 5 hours to get to the airport,” a 22-year-old student tells the BBC.
“My feet hurt, they have blisters and I find it difficult to stand.
The young man is about to start a master’s degree in Istanbul, Turkey. He returned to Kabul to spend time with his family before his course began, but was surprised that the government was falling apart.
“Now that I am leaving, I think of my family, they have no way to escape. I don’t see a future ”.
Journalist Bilal Sarwary shared this video of the airport recorded in the early hours of August 16 (local time).
Hamid Karzai international airport. August 16, 2021. pic.twitter.com/LXsAQPpFXG
– BILAL SARWARY (@bsarwary) August 15, 2021
The United States and other countries were trying to evacuate their embassy staff, and many terrified Afghans were also trying to leave the capital.
– Yalda Hakim (@BBCYaldaHakim) August 15, 2021
“We waited almost eight hours, until the airport staff began to leave their counters, first the check-in counters and then the migration and passport counters,” he says.
“There was no security check. We walked through and saw that the large glass doors were smashed. People ran to the last plane. It was almost a stampede“.
– Ahmer Khan (@ahmermkhan) August 16, 2021
The United States sent military helicopters to evacuate personnel from its embassy in Kabul.
The United States sent military personnel to assist in the evacuation of the embassy in Kabul.
According to spokespersons for the group, members of the organization were going to enter to avoid chaos and looting after security forces left parts of Kabul.
– Dr. Sahar Rahimi (@SaharRahimi_) August 16, 2021
Many were trying to escape Kabul on foot for fear of retaliation by Taliban fighters and uncertainty in the face of a potential wave of violence.
People lined up in long lines Sunday in front of banks in Kabul with the intention of withdrawing their savings.
Nooria, 35 (bottom left), left her home in Kunduz after a rocket destroyed it and injured one of her children.
Women displaced by the fighting in Kunduz took refuge in a mosque in Kabul, while the Taliban continued to advance towards the capture of the capital.
They are concerned that the same kind of government that the group instituted in the 1990s, when it was in power, will return.