The Taliban is reportedly threatening to shoot evacuees on Saturday in Kabul, Afghanistan, the New York Times reported.
“Go back to your home, or I will shoot you,” a Taliban fighter told one man, “according to a person who witnessed the encounter.”
On the ground threats have instigated the U.S. embassy in Kabul to warn American citizens Saturday “to avoid traveling to the airport and to avoid airport gates… because of potential security threats outside the gates at the Kabul airport.”
The New York Post confirmed via an on-the-ground report that the Taliban is “now attempting to take their U.S. passports and identification orders in an attempt to stop them from leaving the country.”
“I got to the gates and was about to show my passport, but the Taliban got it, and he said you are not allowed to go through and wouldn’t give it back,” one Afghan-American on the ground explained the Post. “I was lucky a U.S. marine was right there and forced him to give it back.”
Source sends me another disturbing video of violence and chaos outside the Kabul airport
The video was today, approx 1200-1300 Kabul time, and immediately outside airport at the north gate, per source of video. pic.twitter.com/Nres2uEcyq
— Alex Thompson (@AlexThomp) August 21, 2021
The crisis at Kabul’s airport comes after President Joe Biden claimed Friday that to the “best of our knowledge – Taliban checkpoints – they are letting through people showing American passports.”
But Biden’s public relations scheme does not square with media reports on the ground or with his own Defense Secretary, who stated Friday Americans have been abused and beaten on the ground:
NEW: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a briefing call with House lawmakers just now said Americans have been beaten by the Taliban in Kabul, according to multiple people on the call. Austin called it “unacceptable.”
— Andrew Desiderio (@AndrewDesiderio) August 20, 2021
Reporting on the ground also confirms Washington Post reports that reveal the Taliban fighters are blocking “access” to the airport “with gunfire and violence.” In another report, the Taliban even attacked CNN’s camera crew.
“It’s definitely chaotic,” reporter Clarissa Ward tweeted on the ground. “It’s definitely dangerous.”
Media reports suggest an estimated 10,000 to 40,000 American citizens are stuck in Afghanistan.
Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø.
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