'At Least Seven' Dead In Kabul Airport Evacuation Chaos: U.S. Officials

By Jason Hall

August 16, 2021

Withdrawal From Bagram Air Base Afghanistan
Photo: Getty Images

UPDATE:

U.S. officials confirmed "at least seven people" died during an incident in which Afghan civilians held onto an American military jet as it took off from Kabul's international airport on Monday (August 16), the Associated Press reports.

Senior military officials spoke to the AP anonymously amid the ongoing operation and confirmed the casualties, which included several individuals who fell from the plane as it was airborne.

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Dozens of Afghan civilians desperate to escape their country amid the Taliban's takeover were seen clinging to a U.S. military plane as it took off from Kabul's airport Monday (August 16).

CBS News reports at least one person was seen falling off the plane "from a significant height" as it ascended off the runway at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the now viral video.

Hundreds of individuals swarmed onto the tarmac of the airport on Monday and a large crowd ran along the U.S. C-130 transport plane, with some clinging to its wheels and any parts within grabbing reach as the plan quickly moved down the runway.

Dozens were spotted attempting to climb onto a civilian aircraft full of foreign nationals earlier in the day as it took off from the runway.

Unconfirmed reports claimed at least five individuals died in the airport incident, with the video showing some bodies on the ground at the airport, according to CBS News.

WARNING: The video below contains disturbing images

The distress among Afghan civilians comes after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan's capital city, Kabal, effectively forcing the entire country and its government to be under the group's rule.

The presidential palace is also now under Taliban control after President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, prohibiting any potential attempts to form a transitional government.

The Taliban take over comes after the U.S. withdrew troops from Afghanistan, nearly 20 years after American troops drove the group out of power and continued to have a presence in the country until recent evacuation.

CNN reports the U.S. defense secretary approved 1,000 more American troops to move into Afghanistan amid the ongoing situation, bringing the total number of arriving troops to 6,000.

President Joe Biden is expected to address Americans on the ongoing crisis in the upcoming days, CNN reports.

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