Kabul airport, symbol of chaotic US exit from war-torn Afghanistan

The ensuing chaos was nowhere more evident than at Kabul airport as crowds of people rushed to be evacuated on any available flight out of the country.

Published: 10th August 2022 12:01 PM  |   Last Updated: 10th August 2022 12:05 PM   |  A+A-

Afghans crowd at the tarmac of the Kabul airport on August 16, 2021, to flee the country as the Taliban were in control of Afghanistan after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

For representational purpose. (Photo | AFP)

By AFP

KABUL: Tens of thousands of Afghan men, women and children rushed to Kabul's airport a year ago in a desperate bid to flee the advancing Taliban, who seized power on August 15, 2021.

Images of crowds storming parked planes, climbing atop aircraft and some clinging to a departing US military cargo plane as it rolled down the runway were aired in news bulletins around the world.

The Taliban's lightning offensive against government forces triggered a hasty withdrawal of US-led foreign troops, stunning the international community.

The ensuing chaos was nowhere more evident than at Kabul airport as crowds of people rushed to be evacuated on any available flight out of the country.

An AFP photographer captured images of the panic that symbolised Washington's turbulent withdrawal after two decades of military intervention that began after the September 11, 2001 attacks.

For days, thousands of people attempted to push through barricades set up by the Taliban, Afghan forces and US marines, who often fired in the air to push them back.

ALSO READ | Tireless tyranny:  Poverty, misery, disease conquer Afghanistan as Taliban rule turns one 

Panic struck the crowd just days before the US pullout on August 31.

On August 26, a suicide bomber blew himself up not far from the entrance to the airport, killing scores of people including 13 US service members.

ALSO READ | Taliban claim they unaware of al-Qaida leader in Afghanistan

The jihadist Islamic State group claimed the attack.

One year on, Taliban authorities gave AFP photographers access to the airport to shoot the facility and areas that were trashed last year.

The airport is now back to some kind of normalcy, with a few domestic and international flights operating.

ALSO READ | Over 30 Afghan Sikhs fleeing from Taliban set to arrive in India today

But significant support is needed for major foreign airlines to resume a full schedule from the facility.

Taliban authorities have tasked an Abu Dhabi-based firm with ground handling services and security screening of passengers.

Air traffic control is the responsibility of Afghans trained by experts from Uzbekistan and Qatar.

Kabul airport's return to full operations is seen as crucial to reviving Afghanistan's shattered economy.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp