Afghans cling to US plane taking off from Kabul airport in desperate bid to flee country – Mothership.SG – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

Afghans cling to US plane taking off from Kabul airport in desperate bid to flee country – Mothership.SG – News from Singapore, Asia and around the world

A video circulating on social media has captured the moment in which Afghans were seen falling from a U.S. military plane, after it took off from Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 16.

[WARNING: Videos containing graphic scenes ahead]

According to The Guardianat least two people reportedly fell to their deaths immediately after take-off.

Another video showed a crowd running alongside the C-17A aircraft on the tarmac, with several people seen clinging to the plane just below its wings.

Insane. Don’t have any other words.

The Kabul Airport.

— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu)

Many Afghans fear a return to the Taliban’s imposition of Sharia law which saw the militant group banning women from working, and enforcing harsh punishments such as whipping and hanging, Deustche Welle reported.

A symbol of the debacle in Afghanistan

Several editors and correspondents of news outlets have expressed their shock at such scenes of desperation, with The Guardian opining that they symbolise Western failure in the country.

Unprecedented images from Kabul Airport. These have to be the defining images of this war. This is on America’s conscience! Shocking, unreal scenes!

— Sameer ‘Sadiq’ Bhat (@sadiquiz)

Incredibly powerful, defining images from Kabul Airport this morning – as people clamber onto an airbridge, so desperate are they to escape Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover.

— Andrew Connell (@andrewiconnell)

Unbelievable scenes at #KabulAirport as people literally cling to US military place taking off.

— Jane Ferguson (@JaneFerguson5)

This, even more than yesterday’s images of choppers over the embassy, may be the defining image of the West’s failure in Afghanistan.

People so terrified, so desperate to leave, they are chasing a plane down the runway, clinging to its undercarriage.

— Emma Graham-Harrison (@_EmmaGH)

In particular, John Bolton, the former national security adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, labelled the scene as a “horrific image” of the “Trump-Biden withdrawal” from Afghanistan.

This horrific image may become the iconic picture of the Trump-Biden withdrawal from Afghanistan. It appears the situation in Kabul remains desperate with US forces in harm’s way. Let’s remember the many Americans bravely doing their jobs under the worst of circumstances.

— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton)

Taliban have stepped in to control crowds rushing to the airport

According to Politicoseven people have died in the chaos at Kabul’s Hamid airport thus far, including those who fell from the flight.

In addition, CNN reported that the Taliban themselves are attempting to control crowds rushing to the airport, using vehicles taken from Afghan security forces to do so.

The outlet’s International Security Editor, Nick Paton Walsh, added, “It’s startling too to see the Taliban trying to bring some degree of order to those crowds running toward the airport.”

Evacuation flights have halted amidst deteriorating situation

Meanwhile, U.S. troops have fired warning shots in a bid to control the crowds at the airports, CBS News reported.

A U.S. military officer confirmed that two armed Afghans who were part of the crowd that breached the airport’s perimeter had been killed by American troops.

In addition, evacuation flights have since been halted as a result of the deteriorating situation.

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Top screenshots via Ragıp Soylu Twitter

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