Afghanistan Taliban Crisis HIGHLIGHTS: The US troops fired shots in the air at Afghanistan’s Kabul airport as crowd mobbed the tarmac on Monday. US forces confirmed to Reuters that they were forced to fire in air to prevent Afghans running onto tarmac to board military flights.
On Sunday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani left the country, hours after Taliban fighters showed up on the outskirts of Kabul and their chiefs demanded transfer of power to avoid bloodshed.
Meanwhile, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that Western diplomats have been evacuated from Kabul. “All Embassy personnel are located on the premises of Hamid Karzai International Airport, whose perimeter is secured by the US Military,” Price said.
More than 60 countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Qatar and the UK, have issued a joint statement saying Afghans and international citizens who want to leave Afghanistan must be allowed to depart and added that airports and border crossings must remain open. The US has said that it would deploy as many as 6,000 of its troops at the Kabul airport to ensure safe departure of its citizens and those from its friends and allies from Afghanistan.