Afghanistan: Thousands stranded in Kabul as Taliban go door-to-door

Afghanistan
Afghans sit inside a US military aircraft leaving Kabul on Thursday after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

Tens of thousands of Americans and Afghans who collaborated with US forces remain stranded in Kabul, as the US government grappled with an overwhelming backlog of visas and Taliban checkpoints which were preventing people safely reaching the airport.

With the 31 August deadline looming, tens of thousands of people eligible for evacuation were yet to be airlifted out, many who were among the crowds gathered around Kabul airport brandishing their papers or proof they had worked on US bases.

Afghan youth footballer died in fall from US plane

An Afghan teenager who played for the national youth football team fell to his death after trying to cling to a US plane airlifting people out of Kabul. Since the Taliban seized the Afghan capital on Sunday, crowds have gathered at the city’s airport in the hope of escaping the country. Amid chaotic scenes at the weekend, hundreds of people were filmed running alongside a US Air Force plane as it gathered speed on the runway, and several men clung on to the side.

Ashraf Ghani speaks publicly

On Wednesday, ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani spoke publicly for the first time since fleeing Kabul. Speaking from the United Arab Emirates, Ghani said he left Afghanistan to prevent more bloodshed. Ashraf Ghani told “All my colleagues in the West told me that if I don’t leave, things would be worse. I could have stayed and started a war, but I had a responsibility to my people, and I didn’t want to start a bloodbath like in Syria and Yemen.”

Taliban open fire on Independence Day celebration, two dies

Protests have been held in Kabul and other cities to mark Afghan Independence Day. Media outlet reports two people died in the city of Asadabad after the Taliban opened fire on protesters waving the Afghan national flag during an Independence Day celebration. There were reports the firing began after someone stabbed a member of the Taliban. This comes a day after the Taliban killed three protesters in Jalalabad.