The situation at the airport in Kabul is becoming increasingly critical. There was already a firefight on Monday night. Unknown attackers shot at Afghan security forces and killed a security guard. After that, US and German soldiers were also involved, they were uninjured, reports the German Bundeswehr.
Because access to the airport is barely possible, the Bundeswehr is now also deployed outside the massively secured area to bring people to safety. Elite soldiers from the Special Forces Command are also involved.
There is currently no relaxation in sight. British Defense Minister Ben Wallace assesses the situation on the ground as “increasingly dangerous”. The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas warns people not to “go to the airport on their own”.
Seven dead on Saturday
However, very few seem to listen to it. According to the British Defense Minister Ben Wallace, there are “masses of people” who did not meet the criteria for an evacuation, but wanted to leave the country and flock to the airport.
Seven people were killed in the crowd on Saturday. According to a correspondent for “Sky News”, they were literally “squeezed”. Many were dehydrated and desperate.
There is a child among the dead. The mother of the two-year-old girl stood in front of an airport gate with her daughter, her husband and other relatives. When the NATO soldiers closed three of the four entrances, panic broke out. The mother and child were jostled and fell to the ground. Desperate people trampled on them. The woman survived injured, the daughter died. “I felt pure terror,” said the woman to the “New York Times”.
Swiss flight landed in Zurich
The US has flown 48,000 people out since August 14. Most of the evacuees are Afghans who once worked for US forces and their families. Thousands of them are to be accommodated at US bases in Germany and other European countries while their visa applications are being processed.
The British were able to bring 8,600 people and the Germans over 3,600 people to safety on their flights.
In the night of Tuesday, other people could also be flown to Switzerland. The charter flight landed in Zurich shortly after 1 a.m. with 219 passengers. According to the FDFA, 141 Afghan employees of the cooperation office of the Directorate for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and their relatives as well as 87 other people from Afghanistan, Germany and Sweden were on board the Swiss machine.
The Taliban threaten to react
Meanwhile, the heads of state and government of the seven leading western industrial nations as well as representatives of the EU will discuss the situation in Afghanistan at a special summit on Tuesday. The General Secretaries of NATO and the United Nations are also expected to take part.
The focus is, among other things, on the evacuation mission. The question arises whether the evacuations can continue beyond August 31st. The Taliban had already spoken out clearly against an extension of the deadline. It is a “red line,” said a spokesman for the British news channel Sky News. Postponing it would be tantamount to extending the military occupation of his country. You threaten further reactions.
According to government information from London, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to campaign for an extension with US President Joe Biden. Biden had not categorically ruled out a continuation of the evacuation mission, but at the same time made it very clear that he hoped it would not be necessary.
Not all citizens can be evacuated by the end of the month
If the Americans were to leave by August 31, however, according to Ben Wallace, “the framework conditions would cease to exist” that would allow other G7 states to evacuate. “Then we’ll have to go too.”
The problem: Because the conditions at the airport are so dramatic and chaotic, not even all US citizens, let alone Afghan local staff, could probably be flown out by the end of the month, reports «Bild». (man)
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