The Taliban has pledged to amnesty those who cooperated with the US, NATO and the overthrown Afghan government, but many people still fear retaliation for the attack
acceptance: German officials said the exchange of fire at a gate at Kabul International Airport earlier on Monday killed at least one Afghan soldier, and this is the latest chaos in recent Western efforts to evacuate those who fled the Taliban to take over the country.
Amid the shooting near the military side of the airport, the Taliban sent fighters to the north of the capital earlier this month to eliminate armed resistance to their lightning takeover. The Taliban stated that they regained the three areas that had fallen and surrounded Panjshir the day before, and this was the last province out of their control.
Although the West has provided aid, training and assistance for 20 years, the Afghan security forces collapsed in the face of the Taliban’s offensive. However, some armed Afghans remained at the Kabul airport to assist in Western evacuation efforts.
Gunshots broke out near the airport’s north gate, and a day ago, at least seven Afghans were killed in a panicked stampede by thousands of people trying to flee the country. The shooting occurred at dawn, and the specific circumstances are unclear.
The German military said on Twitter that a member of the Afghan security forces was killed by an “unidentified attacker” and three others were injured. It later clarified that it was referring to “members of the Afghan army” involved in protecting the airport’s security.
The US military and NATO did not immediately acknowledge the shooting. The Taliban did not comment.
The tragic scene around the airport shocked the world. Last week, Afghans swarmed on the tarmac. Some people clutched a U.S. military transport plane as it took off, then crashed and died. At least seven people died that day, and another seven people died on Sunday.
The Taliban blamed the US military for the chaotic evacuation, saying that the Afghans did not need to be afraid of them, even if their fighter jets shot into the air and beat people with batons as they tried to control the crowds on the periphery of the airport.
The Taliban have promised to amnesty those who cooperated with the United States, NATO and the overthrown Afghan government, but many Afghans still fear retaliation. There have been reports in recent days that the Taliban are hunting down their former enemies. It is not clear whether the Taliban leaders are talking about one thing and doing another thing, or whether the fighters do it themselves.
As the airlift continued, the U.S. government launched the Civil Reserve Air Fleet program, requiring 18 aircraft of American Airlines to assist in transporting Afghan refugees evacuated to other countries. The voluntary program born after the Berlin Airlift increased the military’s capabilities during the crisis.
Earlier Monday, a Delta Air Lines flight landed in Dubai and then took off to Udeid Air Force Base in Qatar, where the evacuees were crowded in the hangar. A steady stream of military transport aircraft continues to transport people from Kabul to airports throughout the Middle East.
There are also concerns that local Islamic State affiliates may use suicide bombers or launch missiles at American aircraft to target people outside the airport. Military aircraft have been performing corkscrew landings, and other aircraft firing signal flares during takeoff. These measures are used to prevent missile attacks.
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban faced limited armed resistance in Baghlan Province, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of Kabul. Combatants claimed to have occupied three areas in the Andalab Valley on Sunday, but the Taliban said on Monday that they had cleared these areas overnight.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said that the organization’s forces have surrounded nearby Panjshir, the only one of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces that has not yet fallen into the hands of militants.
Several Taliban opponents gathered there, including Vice President Amrullah Saleh, the overthrown government, who claimed to be the acting president under the constitution. Ahmed Masood, the son of the Northern Alliance militia commander who cooperated with the United States to oust the Taliban in 2001, is also in Panjshir.
In an interview with Arab media over the weekend, Masood stated that his fighters would resist any attempts to occupy the province by force, but were willing to talk to the Taliban.
Taliban spokesman Mujahid said that Panjshir has not yet fought and his organization is seeking a “peaceful solution” to resolve the deadlock.