Wednesday, August 17th, 2022 13:57:09

Kabul International Airport reopens for evacuation process, says US

Updated: August 17, 2021 5:05 pm

The United States said that Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan has resumed operations.

At a press conference by Pentagon this morning, Major General Hank Taylor said, a C-17 aircraft landed yesterday with Marines aboard and another C-17 was expected to land later. The statement comes hours after the airport which is the only US-controlled territory in the Taliban-occupied Afghan capital was reportedly shut down as thousands of Afghans crowded the tarmac. Mr Taylor said, about 2,500 US troops are on the ground in Kabul, and 3,000 to 3,500 will guard the airport within a day, out of the 6,000 troops authorized by US President Joe Biden. He said, the US military is preparing to evacuate hundreds of American diplomatic staffers who were transported from the Kabul embassy to the airport, and it plans to ramp up evacuations for American citizens and at-risk Afghans who worked for the United States in the next few days.

Yesterday, the US had to temporarily halt all evacuation flights from Kabul to clear people who had converged on the airfield. The Kabul airport was witness to heartbreaking scenes of thousands of people flooding the premises and even clinging to planes on the runway in a desperate bid to get out of the country.

Adding to the distressing visuals from the war-ravaged country was that of two Afghans falling from the plane mid-air after they had tied themselves to the wheels of the aircraft to escape the country.

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