Further evacuation flights started at the airport in the Afghan capital Kabul on Tuesday. Military planes had started flying diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan in the morning, said a Western security officer at the airport of the Reuters news agency. The radical Islamic Taliban would try to control the crowds in front of the airport, it said.
According to the security officer, the airport runway and tarmac are now free of the crowds who desperately besieged the airport on Monday to flee the Afghan capital. The runway is also open again, according to a NATO representative.
NATO’s civilian representative in Afghanistan, Stefano Pontecorvo, wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that he saw planes landing and taking off. Most recently, air traffic was stopped because there were crowds of people on the airfield. Many Afghans are trying to leave the country after the Taliban have actually taken power.
Reports: Taliban push people back
Numerous Western countries are currently trying to get their citizens and local workers, for whom Taliban acts of revenge are feared, to safety from Afghanistan. However, it is unclear whether the people who are to be brought to safety can get onto the airport premises without any problems.
The US broadcaster CNN reported that Taliban fighters had taken position in Humvees in front of the airport and were trying to control the crowds around the airport. Videos shown by CNN showed people trying to get into the airport through gates or over three meter high blast protection walls. There are unconfirmed reports that the Taliban are pushing them back. Local workers are afraid of being checked by the Taliban on the way to or in front of the airport. They said they were required to bring documents with them that they were authorized to evacuate.
Kramp-Karrenbauer: Really breakneck landing
The first flight of the German Bundeswehr to Kabul apparently took place under extremely difficult circumstances. “We have a very confusing, dangerous, complex situation at the airport, especially because of the crowds,” said German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (CDU) on Tuesday morning in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”.
“Yesterday we managed to bring our machine to the ground in a really breakneck landing. Above all, we brought soldiers there who are now securing so that the people we want to fly out have the opportunity to get to the plane at all. That was the main assignment yesterday, ”said the minister.
CDU politician: Took seven people
The German CDU foreign politician Johann Wadephul has meanwhile confirmed that only seven people were flown out of Kabul on the first flight of the German Bundeswehr that night. “That’s right,” said the Union faction vice-president on Deutschlandfunk: “There are only seven.” You only had a 30-minute slot for the machine.
“And we could only take those who were there now. It would also have been irresponsible, because it was not at all certain that the plane could land, to bring more to the airport there now. ”The main purpose of the flight, however, was to bring“ robust forces ”to Kabul. These soldiers would now create the conditions for more machines to land and take off in Kabul.