US troops fatally shoot two armed men at Kabul airport
U.S. troops have fatally shot two armed men at Kabul’s airport, while images of Afghan civilians frantically trying to leave the country now under Taliban rule have dominated news coverage.
A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the two shootings Monday, but said it was not clear if the two men killed were affiliated with the Taliban.
“There have been security incidents at the field involving armed individuals shooting at U.S. forces. I want to reiterate that while our mission is not offensive, our forces have the inherent right of self defense, and they will respond accordingly to threats and attacks,” the Pentagon spokesperson told reporters Monday. “So in two separate incidents, U.S. forces did respond to hostile threats that resulted in the death of two armed individuals.”
The Wall Street Journal first reported that the two armed men approached the troops at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul who were stationed there to help with the evacuation process.
A Pentagon official also told the Journal that at least three Afghan civilians were killed after being run over by a military jet carrying staff members, according to the Journal.
This comes as another U.S. official told The Associated Press that in total seven people have been killed during the chaos at the Kabul airport.
Videos have surfaced online showing massive groups of civilians running on the tarmac to catch flights out of the country. Some of the people in the crowds have sought to hop on to move planes as well.
The desperation is complete. Afghans don’t want to be left behind as US evacuates. pic.twitter.com/efZgNcyzpU
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) August 16, 2021
The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday, regaining full control of the country for the first time since 2001, when U.S. troops arrived in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country Sunday, signaling the imminent collapse of Kabul.
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