Afghan locals gather near Kabul airport as Taliban guards roam


Afghan locals gathered yesterday near the airport in Kabul as Taliban pickup trucks roamed the city.

Aisha Ahmad showed the people crowding beside the wall of Hamid Karzai International Airport on August 17 trying desperately to find a flight out of Afghanistan.

Aisha said: ‘Look at the pile of the people next to the airport wall. The Taliban pickups are patrolling around.’

Chaos erupted at the airport earlier this week, when thousands of desperate Afghans scrambled to leave the country after its government collapsed. Scenes of mayhem and panic prompted officials to temporarily close Afghan air space.

Afghanistan evacuation flights have reopened Tuesday (August 17), with U.S. forces taking control of airport security and traffic control, according to the Pentagon.

Taliban forces seized Kabul on August 15, settling into the presidential palace after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

A Taliban spokesman said the war was ‘over’ and that the militants have accomplished their objective or retaking the Middle East country following two decades of western occupation started by former leaders George Bush and Tony Blair.

Mohammad Naeem said: ‘We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people. We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others.’

Meanwhile, the US State Department said there has been no formal transfer of power from the Afghan government to the Taliban, but declined to say if Ghani was still recognised as Afghanistan’s president.